The stats that prove outgoing Cardiff midfielder Marlon Pack would be good signing for Pompey amid transfer talk
That’s the type of statement Pompey are keen to make this summer with Cardiff’s Marlon Pack hot on the Blues’ radar.
Although a move would require a drop to League One amid Championship interest, the promise of regular football for a side with serious second-tier ambitions – plus the lure of a Pompey homecoming – could put the Blues at an advantage.
With performance data collected from Wyscout, it’s clear Pack oozes Championship quality, albeit after a difficult season at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cowley is keen to strengthen in the defensive midfield area, and the soon-to-be out-of-contract engine-room ace makes a good impression with his all-round game.
Despite making just 26 appearances for the Bluebirds last term, the ex-Cheltenham man took part in 7.14 defensive duels per game, while winning over half of those he contested (57.1 per cent).
That’s less than Louis Thompson’s statistical average for last season (9.44 and 59.6 per cent) – but it exceeds that produced by Joe Morrell, whose stats in that area come in at 7.1 and 55.6 per cent respectively.
On reflection there’s not much in it, but we can’t forget that Pack’s stats come from the tier above the Pompey’s duo’s level.
At 6ft 2in, the outgoing Cardiff man asserts his presence in the air – winning 57.6 per cent of his aerial duels, as well as making an average of 4.08 interceptions every outing.
As expected that’s more than Cowley’s preferred midfield duo, with 5ft 11in Thompson and 5ft 5in Morrell registering figures of 37.5 and 44.4 per cent respectively.
Former Norwich man Thompson scores more favourably in the interceptions department (4.58), but yet again Pack surpasses Morrell’s 3.94 figure – proving he would be an upgrade.
The Blues were caught on the counter-attack a number of times last term but Pack is one who could prevent that.
Last season he made 10.82 recoveries per 90 minutes, with 55.2 per cent of those being stopped in the opposition’s half.
The current Pompey duo recorded figures of 9.72 and 48 per cent (Thompson) and 8.85 and 49.9 per cent (Morrell) last term.
Pack’s passing is also a threat, making 37.33 every game, with a 82.8 per cent completion rate.
That’s more passes than what Thompson provides (30.66) but in terms of accuracy Morrell is more affective (83.1 per cent).
Yet with Cowley placing a lot of emphasis on passing, it’s a part of Pack’s game that will sit favourably with the manager.
The data also shows the Buckland ace isn’t one for a run, making less than one dribble a game (0.85).
But with Cowley eyeing a defensive-minded midfielder, the Cardiff man certainly fits the bill in that department, too.
There’s clearly areas that Pack excels in, while there’s evidence to suggest that both Thompson and Morrell are better in other departments.
Yet there’s not getting away from the fact that the free agent would fit into the Blues midfield and make it better.