The Egyptian winger Trezeguet has impressed since the Premier League resumed last season.
Words: Matt Blogg | @Blogg_Matt
Trezeguet has firmly cemented his place as an integral part of Aston Villa’s system in the last 8 Premier League matches, not only coming up with the crucial goals that saved the club from what would have been a disastrous relegation, but also racking up numbers that showcase exactly why he is quickly becoming impossible to leave out the side.
Often slated last season for his inconsistency and lack of quality in the final third, the Egyptian winger has silenced a lot of critics in the last few months, with any quality that he may lack being more than made up for by his phenomenal work rate. A key feature of Villa’s attacking structure, Trezeguet would probably be forgiven if his defensive stats failed to impress, but the fact that he comes out on top in defensive comparisons with two of Villa’s hardest working players in Jack Grealish and John McGinn says everything about the Egyptian’s emerging importance to the side.
Averaging 1.9 clearances per game and 2.7 interceptions per game may not initially seem too eye-catching, but when you learn that McGinn averages less than half of this, and Grealish musters up even lower numbers than the Scot, Trezeguet’s defensive input is emphasised. Additionally, Trezeguet has made 11 tackles across Villa’s 4 Premier League games so far, edging out Jack Grealish’s nine and totally eclipsing John Mcginn’s four.
It isn’t just defensively however that Trezeguet stands out, with his offensive numbers further proving his enviable fitness and desire. Not only does he come out on top against Grealish and McGinn when looking at take on success, but he also embarrasses other selected wingers from outside “the big six”, with his 83.33% success rate per game comprehensively beating Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin (70%), West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen (50%) and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (33.33%), all highly important players to their respective teams.
On top of this, Villa’s 26-year-old Egyptian also takes the crown against these 3 rival wingers when it comes to chances created, with his 6 so far this season bettering Saint-Maximin’s 5, Bowen’s 2 and Zaha’s 5. Trezeguet’s average of 6.6 aerial duels contested per game also blows his rivals away, with the selected wingers averaging 0.4, 1.1 and 1.8 respectively, further highlighting the Villa man’s battling attitude and constant involvement at both ends of the pitch.
Of course, Trezeguet will always be judged predominantly for his attacking output, so will be hoping to add to his solitary assist so far this season, but with 3.2 crosses attempted per game and the aforementioned ability to create chances, that number will surely rise, especially with people like Ollie Watkins, Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish alongside him.
While attacking input is important however, to overlook his defensive involvement is simply impossible. Trezeguet has played a huge part in Villa keeping 3 clean sheets in their opening 4 Premier League games this season, could (and maybe should) have two more assists to his name after Watkins missed a couple of golden chances in the thrashing of Liverpool, and has so far limited big-money signing Bertrand Traore to small cameos off the bench, which tells you everything you need to know.
Trezeguet’s work rate is not something you can coach, and it is certainly not something you can easily replace. He may not regularly grab headlines, but in the now settled Egyptian winger, Villa have a serious asset. The silent workhorse cannot be overlooked.