As Clint Dempsey's first season at Tottenham draws to a close and the summer transfer window nears, the American's future at the club is in some doubt.
Looking at the statistics of his season at Spurs, one can see why Dempsey's place is in question.
Dempsey started his time at White Hart Lane quite out of form and has struggled to find a consistent spell of strong play throughout the season.
Meanwhile, squad rivals such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby have improved in their performances and proved their potential benefits to the club.
At 23 and 22 years of age respectively, Sigurdsson and Holtby are also younger options than the 30-year-old Dempsey, an element that cannot be underestimated in the fickle business of top-flight European football.
Given these factors, the obvious question that arises for Spurs is whether Dempsey is expendable in terms of aims going forward.
To attempt to answer this question, let's analyze Dempsey's contributions this season, comparing the statistics of the American's Premier League performances with those of Sigurdsson and Holtby.
|Matches||Goals||Assists||Total Shots||Pass %||Key Passes||Dispossessed||Turnovers||Tackles||Interceptions||Clearances|
Looking at these numbers, the first thing one can see is the lack of data that is available for Lewis Holtby.
This is quite understandable given that the German came to Tottenham in a January transfer from Schalke.
While one may expound upon Holtby's data to compare his rates to the other two, this type of analysis can be misleading.
Instead, let's just draw some basic conclusions from his data: Lewis has done well so far (especially in passing percentage, key passes and tackles) and looks to have the potential to be a key contributor for Tottenham in the future.
As for Dempsey and Sigurdsson, though, their considerable matchplay this season allows for a more complete comparison.
From these data points, one can see just how different the two players' styles are despite their similar roles in Spurs' midfield.
While Dempsey has done better with his end product, scoring triple the number of goals and providing more key passes in fewer matches than Sigurdsson, Dempsey has also accrued much higher rates of turning the ball over and getting dispossessed.
Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Sigurdsson has the advantage in interceptions, Dempsey has the edge in clearances and the two are about even in tackles.
So what does this all mean?
Dempsey's contributions to Spurs are clear, as evidenced by his goal and key pass numbers.
However, is it the type of contribution that Tottenham are looking for in their midfield?
While that question seems strange, it is a valid one. After all, Dempsey's goals are great, but the amount of times he gets dispossessed and turns the ball over are not ideal.
In the end, Spurs face a dilemma: Have Dempsey's contributions proved valuable enough to warrant a spot alongside, or even instead of, his younger counterparts?
Despite his goal-scoring numbers, Dempsey's future at White Hart Lane doesn't look too solid heading into the summer transfer window.
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