Stoke City have confirmed that they and Cardiff City have agreed a swap deal with Kenwyne Jones going to Cardiff and Peter Odemwingie going to Stoke, subject to a medical and personal terms being agreed upon. Jones has proved to not be a Mark Hughes player and has made only four Premier League starts this season. The big question for Cardiff fans is, is he an improvement on the strikers they currently have, as well as Odemwingie? In this article, I will compare Kenwyne Jones’s 2012-2013 stats, when he played consistently, to the 2013-2014 stats of Cardiff striker Frazier Campbell and the guy going the other way in the deal, Peter Odemwingie.
Passing and Possession
In the modern day game, a striker does need to link the play together and help the rest of the team that. Jones’s passing statistics at Stoke were absolutely abysmal. While you may be able to attribute some of that due to the long ball system of Tony Pulis, Jones completed only 54.5% of his passes which is just unacceptable for a Premier League striker. Frazier Campbell and Peter Odemwingie completed 72% and 73% of their passes respectively. In the final third, the passing percentage of both Campbell and Jones dropped by about 10%, which is pretty normal, while Odemwingie’s final third percentage is actually slightly higher at 75%.
Cardiff is a team without an overabundance of talent and need every player, even the striker, to run around, work hard, keep the ball when they have it and win it back when they don’t. Jones’s ball retention stats pale in comparison to both Odemwingie and Campbell with Jones losing the ball every five minutes compared to Odemwingie losing it every six minutes and Campbell losing every eight. In winning the ball back, surprisingly Odemwingie won the ball every 26 minutes as opposed to Jones every 36 minutes and Campbell every 37 minutes. The one area Jones has a big edge in is aerial duels. Jones won 54% of his aerial duels as opposed to Odemwingie’s 27% and Campbell’s 30%.
Creativity is hugely important for a striker in the level of the Premier League. None of these three strikers are particularly creative. Jones creates a chance every 130 minutes as opposed to Campbell every 110 minutes and Odemwingie every 80 minutes. None of those are particularly good but Odemwingie at least creates a chance every game, while the others do not. In clear cut chances on the other hand, Odemwingie has not created a single clear cut chance. Jones creates one every 540 minutes while Campbell has created one every 1542 minutes.
Odemwingie is a far superior dribbler than either of the other two. Odemwingie has completed 66% (or 23) of his attempted dribbles. Jones and Campbell are both under 55% and have both attempted less than 20 dribbles. Odemwingie probably has the edge in the creativity area but again none of them are outstandingly creative.
As important as those other areas are, striker’s are judged by their goals and goals are the most important thing for a team like Cardiff. Cardiff have scored fewer goals than any team other than Crystal Palace. In a team like Cardiff, you won’t get an abundance of chances and you have to be clinical and put them away when you get them. Frazier Campbell’s conversion rate is quite solid, converting 20% of his chances. On the other end of the spectrum, Odemwingie has completed a miserable 8% of his chances with Jones in the middle converting 13% of his chances. In clear cut chances, Odemwingie has only had two clear cut chances and taken 50% of those chances. Kenwyne Jones has been the least clinical from clear cut chances converting just one of nine clear cut chances (11%). Campbell has taken the most clear cut chances taking four of 12 clear cut chances, but that converts to a lower conversion rate (33%) than Odemwingie. With the small sample sizes it is tough to tell who is more clinical between Odemwingie and Campbell but Jones is easily the worst of the three at converting clear cut chances.
The stats do not necessarily cover Kenwyne Jones in a whole lot of glory. The signing may look questionable but in the end stats are not everything in football. Jones could prove to be an astute signing. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not a fan of Odemwingie meaning that swapping him for a different type of player was an attractive possibility. That said, Jones has never been a goal machine even less so since leaving Sunderland. It’s an interesting signing and we will see if it will work out for Cardiff and help them in their fight against relegation.