Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New Signing: Diego Poyet

Diego Poyet

DOB: 08/08/1995
Age: 19
Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: Charlton Athletic
Previous Division: SkyBet Championship

Transfer Date: 08/07/2014
Reported Fee: Compensation to be Agreed

Like buses these transfers, aren't they?

In a move that seemed to come from nowhere on last Friday afternoon, West Ham have now finalised the signing of 19 year old midfielder Diego Poyet.

The son of Sunderland manager Gus, Poyet broke into the Charlton team in the second half of last season, and has now decided he sees his future away from the Addicks.

As with the signing of Aaron Cresswell, the shocking speed at which the transfer has been completed means a large number of West Ham fans won't know a great deal about a player who has only been on the scene for a matter of months.

Since bursting onto the scene with Charlton back in January, Poyet has made 20 appearances for the side in the Championship, racking up a healthy 1,768 minutes of action, and making the defensive midfield spot his own.

In terms of style, I know very little about Poyet, but his stats suggest that he is a similar player to Mark Noble. Both posted identical pass completion rates for the season, both made an average of around 50 passes per game, and both put in a high volume of defensive work for their team.

The images below show the pass completion of Poyet in comparison to some of his new team mates, and a man he will be hoping to replace in Matthew Taylor (stats on Cheikhou Kouyaté are not in depth enough to allow a fair comparison at this point), and also the number of passes completed by each player per 90 minutes.

As you can see, Poyet has a better pass completion rate than both Mohamed Diamé and Matthew Taylor, is equal to Mark Noble, and is slightly behind Ravel Morrison. However, as with Mark Noble, the youngster saw far more of the ball that most of the others, attempting 49.07 passes per 90 minutes - more than double the amount attempted by Diamé.

As previously stated, Poyet also contributes a large amount defensively.

In his 20 league appearances for Charlton last year, Poyet attempted a whopping 117 tackles, winning the ball with 55% of these. This number compares favourably to his comparators.

As you can see below, Poyet put in nearly 6 tackles per 90 minutes. The closest West Ham midfielder to this was Noble, with 4.98 attempted tackles per 90.

As with any good defensive midfielder, Poyet's main strengths lay in his defensive work.

As I've already mentioned, the England under 17 international put in a massive 117 tackles last season, winning the ball on 64 occasions.

The image below shows his tackles against Bournemouth back in March. As you can see, Poyet sat in the gap between the defence and midfield breaking up opposition attacks, winning 5 of his 7 attempted tackles.


But Poyet is more than just a hard tackler. He is also an intelligent footballer, who is very adept at reading the game.

On top of those tackles he put in, he also made 49 interceptions in his 20 appearances. For a bit of context, Noble managed 70 in 38 appearances in the same position.

Again, the image below shows Poyet's performance against Bournemouth in March. As you can see, he consistently nicked the ball in the same defensive areas that he produced 7 tackles within, and made a total of 6 interceptions on the day.

Poyet hasn't really been around long enough to get a true flavour of his weaknesses, but it is believed that his main issue is that his concentration levels have been known to drop. In fact, this is the only criticism that SkySports found in a recent player profile.

However, as you can see below, this may not be as big an issue as is suggested.

The youngster made 3.0 errors (defensive error leading to an attempt on goal / a goal, turnovers (miscontrol), dispossessed (tackles), dribbled by) per 90 minutes, which is only slightly more than both Noble and Taylor, but is significantly less than Diamé.

Obviously errors by a defensive midfielder tend to be more costly than those more advanced players, but Poyet doesn't commit too many errors, at given his young age, this is an area in which he will surely improve over time.

The signing of Diego Poyet seems to reiterate the clubs desire to build a more youthful side going into the future. By bringing in low cost youngsters on long term contracts, instead of low cost veterans on short term contracts, the club are building for the future, and giving the fans something to smile about in the close season.

Whether or not Poyet will make a huge mark this season remains to be seen, as he will be competing with the likes of Noble, Diamé and Chiekhou Kouyaté for a starting spot, but the 4 year contract suggests that this is a signing for the future, and not just the now.

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