When considering the argument of who we should be signing for the midfield, it seems established that Luka Modric is the exact player that we need. So for statistical analysis, I will be using him as the benchmark for which to compare potential transfers against.
Joao Moutinho is 25, turning 26 in September. He is 171'cm tall (5 foot 7 inches). Transfermarkt gives him a value of £20 million which sounds like the right region.
Luka Modric is 26, turning 27 in September. He is 173'cm tall (5 foot 8 inches). Transfermarkt values Modric at £34.5 million which again sounds just about right.
Career statistics of 37 goals and 42 assists in 355 appearances. 0.22 goals/assists per game. During his time at Sporting, he averaged 1.23 goals to every 1 assist and was playing in a slightly more advanced role than after his transfer to Porto. 0.32 goals to every 1 assist during his time at Porto.
In 54 appearances against the 'big 4' of Portugal (Porto, Benfica, Braga and Sporting Lisbon), Moutinho has 3 goals, 5 assists and 17 yellow cards. 0.15 goals/assists per game. I think this is a little bit low personally.
His continental competition (against top teams i.e. Barca, Athletico, Everton, United, City, Bayern, etc...) stats are significantly worse, though a slight dip in form is to be expected. 19 appearances with no goals, no assists, 4 yellow cards and only 3 wins and 1 draw. While you cannot look at the win/loss stats and say hes a bad purchase as that is a team effort, but it does go to show maybe a little bit that his influence isn't as strong as one might hope.
We need to look at the stats for the 'ideal' candidate of Modric to be able to see where the bar is set.
When you look at his overall stats they are impressive. During his time at Zagreb, he was at 0.44 goals/assists per game while after his move to Tottenham, it dropped down to 0.27 goals/assists per game. 0.65 goals to each assist.
In 40 appearances against the 'Big 5' (Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal and Liverpool) his stats have been pretty good. 4 goals, 5 assists, 5 yellow cards, 15 wins and 11 draws. 0.23 goals/assists per game.
In a similar competition against top teams, Modric has stats of 56 appearances, 6 assists, 8 yellow cards, 17 wins and 12 draws. 0.1 goals/assists per game.
I have also had a look at compiled a few videos here of games of his which are good to have a quick look at.
His performance is neat if unspectacular.
Another neat display which shows a bit of a better range of passing. Set piece delivery wasn't too bad either. Definitely has some of the qualities that we need for the central midfield.
A rather uninspiring performance here against Benfica. Wayward passing and poor pass selection. He managed to lose possession numerous times and although his set piece delivery was better in this game, it was not enough to look past the poor distribution.
There were not that many video's of his full game performances. These few show great technique, good if unspectacular passing, strength over the ball but also average set piece delivery and at times poor distribution. I know that you cannot take these three videos as his entire season but it is all we have (that I was able to find for this).
Everybody is free to look at all the statistics in a different way but for me I think there is definitely a difference in class between himself and the ideal candidate. After putting this together, I feel like I would be a lot less disappointed if we got him, than before I did this article. If we are able to get him for less than £20 million then I would think that it was a good purchase but I would say no deal to having to pay any more than that. I feel that there are better, cheaper, younger candidates out there... if we are going to settle for second best (aka anybody but Modric).