Vaughan - Not pretty, as you can see, but effective.
So with all the talk of Craig Gardner coming in, Darron Gibson, Sebastian Larrson and so on, we completely forgot about one target from right at the start of the transfer window - David Vaughan from Blackpool.
Vaughan flirted with ideas of going elsewhere. At one point Glasgow Rangers were a distinct possibility, and more recently it was West Bromwich Albion who were the apparent focus of his attention. At one point even Mrs Vaughan took to Twitter to say he wouldn't be joining us.
Well he's on his way here having undertook a medical, the woman was wrong, and the natural balance of the universe was restored as we get set to welcome David Vaughan to the club. However, what on earth are we going to do with him? Lets form some initial impressions...David Vaughan. What does the 28 year old bring to the table for us? Well for a start he bring a left foot. Something severely lacking in our team at the moment across the entire squad, with only Kieran Richardson, Asamoah Gyan and Jack Colback particularly competent with the left foot, so that's a massive boost to us.
Whilst that will naturally make us want to play Vaughan out wide, he's spent most his time at Blackpool in the middle along side recent Liverpool signing and headline stealer Charlie Adam.
I can see similarities in Vaughan's game to two players in our squad already. Firstly I see Vaughan as a left-sided version of Sebastian Larsson. Kind of a wide player, often more suited to the middle however. Certainly more a left sided midfielder than a winger of any kind.
Secondly, I see similarities to Jack Colback. He'll chase lost causes, he'll keep it relatively simple and keep things ticking over with a great deal of success. I just hope it doesn't hinder the progress of young Jack too much.
As I've stated, Vaughan often had the headlines stolen by midfield counterpart Adam, whilst it was actually Vaughan who won the hearts of the fans with the Blackpool Player Of The Year award from the club as well as from fans.
The stats back this up. Whilst Adam was was out scoring goals, taking penalties, many many penalties, and generally making a name for himself, it could be argued that he'd never have had that success without the graft of Vaughan alongside him.
Vaughan didn't have the goals, nor the assists, however his pass completion considerably outweighed Adam 87% vs 72% according to Opta, and despite the hinderance of being shorter than Adam, managed to win more headers too 64% vs 56%.
That passing success rate was actually the highest of all Blackpool players, and isn't too shabby from 48 passes per game, on average. Also worth noting that that 87% was higher than any Sunderland player who played a significant amount of games.
He also gave away less fouls, made more tackles, was booked less, and made more interceptions than Adam.
Stats are all well and good, but its how you put them into games. Barring a shocking dive at Bloomfield Road, he was fairly ineffective against us, however at the Stadium Of Light he was magnificent, and a constant threat to us.
I welcome the signing, and I think he'll really add something to the squad. Certainly it makes us even stronger in the middle of the park, and again he's exactly the type of player we should be bringing in. We need players who will work hard, who aren't superstar names.
Vaughan was instrumental to Blackpool last season, and hopefully he'll do the same for us. Perhaps Vaughan & Gardner will be the new Vaughan and Adam... it's not impossible.
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