Pitchside Europe

Andros Townsend: From Spurs reserve to national hero


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For those who spent the summer transfer window living with silent monks in the foothills of Mount Everest, devoid of contact with the outside world and cut off from the internet, Tottenham Hotspur were rather busy.

The sale of Gareth Bale would previously have been met with reactions akin to seeing the Death Star move into Earth’s orbit, but in the end Spurs fans managed to exude an almost enviable positivity.

Tottenham spent a reported £105 million on new players and the vast majority were attack-minded purchases made with the intention of conjuring a creativity overload in the final third.

Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli arrived, as did powerful central midfielders Paulinho and Etienne Capoue. They also added the formidable striker they were longing for as Roberto Soldado came in from Valencia.

While most of the new faces have impressed in some capacity, some might even suggest their best arrival of the summer was a player they already owned. Or at least, that is how things have panned out during these early stages of the season.

Andros Townsend came back to the club over the close-season after spending half of last term with former manager Harry Redknapp at QPR.

Despite having an estimated wage expenditure which many bigger clubs would envy, QPR were relegated - but Townsend was one of their few bright sparks.

The winger’s record in duels was particularly good as he won 71 per cent, the joint-highest of all their outfield players who had made more than one appearance, with Armand Traore matching him.

Townsend’s 65% dribble success highlighted exactly what he was all about as he continuously tried to beat his marker when creating openings, and his tricky style of play saw him fouled 20 times.

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Townsend's duels whilst at QPR last season

The loan spell gave Townsend an opportunity to consistently impress in the Premier League, and he took his chance as well as he could have.

Since returning his momentum has continued and he is now the subject of talk regarding a pay-rise.

The Mirror claims he is currently paid less than £10,000 per-week and they believe he will earn close to £2m a year once he agrees a new deal.

With Aaron Lennon picking up an injury after the opening match of the season, Townsend was presented with another chance and once again he grabbed it with both hands.

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Townsend ranks third for Performance Score at Spurs this season

His overall Squawka Performance Score of 207 for the season is bettered only by Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele in the Spurs squad and is the joint-eighth highest of all midfielders in the league.

The Belgian duo are the only two outfield Spurs men to have a higher average duels won percentage than Townsend’s 68%, and his record of nine chances created in six matches is more than respectable given how often he opts to shoot instead of looking for the killer ball.

As was the case at QPR, his dribbling has been good again so far. He has completed 69% of his attempts to beat a defender, and only Dembele can boast a more impressive success rate out of those Spurs players who have attempted more than 15 dribbles. He also possesses a shot accuracy of 50%, and while this has maddened sections of the White Hart Lane faithful it's an indication of just how confident Townsend is right now.

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Townsend’s heroics for England will not have gone unnoticed, but the biggest plus about his emergence for Spurs is that Lennon finally has competition. For far too he has been afforded inconsistency with no one challenging him. Those days are well and truly over.

From Squawka.com - team and player football stats

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