Brazilian names always make me chuckle. I’m acutely aware it’s not their full name, I just love the fact that Man United are going to have a player called Fred this season. I think this one tops it. Bernard. What a name that is! Bernard smacks of an old-timer that sits in the boozer on a Thursday morning at 9:30 picking out his nags for the day. Something we can all aspire to. According to Google, the name Bernard means as brave as a bear. Whatever you say, Google. Anyway, you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m yammering on about. An article in The Guardian suggests that Pellegrini might challenge Chelsea and AC Milan for the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk winger, Bernard. Paper talk is paper talk. A lot of it is hogwash, I know that, you know that and so does the old-timer in the boozer. Nevertheless, it’s all good fun!
After leaving Ukraine at the end of last season, Bernard still finds himself without a club. That might have something to do with his £200,000 wage demands. It might not. How do papers know what he’s demanding as a wage? Never mind. As you can see from the above image (ta very much, Wyscout) Bernard is very much a left-sided player. Imagine that, Bernard on the left, Felipe Anderson on the right, Yarmolenko through the middle. Christ. Lanzini and Arnautovic in reserve? West Ham could be in for one helluva season. How does Bernard stack up against existing Hammers, though?
Rather unsurprisingly, stats on the Ukrainian League are hard to come by meaning we are using Bernard’s Champions League stats vs Anderson’s Serie A stats vs Arnautovic’s & Lanzini’s Premier League stats (cheers Squawka). You still up to date? Smashing. Naturally, to keep things fair, we’re looking at the stats averaged out per ninety-minutes. Let’s not waste any more of your precious time. Bernard is similar to Lanzini when it comes to key passes, with just 0.05 separating them. As you can see, Felipe Anderson is way out in front. Successful take ons is tight. 5.02% splits all four of them. He may have finished bottom of the first one, it was the complete opposite this time. Arnautovic pipping Bernard to first place by a slim 0.18%.
Bernard bosses the next round. 100% shot accuracy! Bloody hell. In the interest of transparency, he did only have six shots, but even still, that’s some sharp shooting. We close with total duels won as a percentage. Bernard won half of his which I think is a respectable amount for a winger, he is second to only Lanzini who won a very commendable 53.47%. Bernard can do a bit of everything and would be a tremendous addition to Pellegrini’s armoury.
I’m 80% in on this transfer. If Felipe Anderson hadn’t already put pen to paper, I’d be banging the 100% drum, however, I think West Ham would be better off bringing in a player with a more defensive mindset. Granted, there’s no transfer fee involved, I’m just not convinced that the current new additions will all blend, let alone if you chuck Bernard in the mix. Noble will lose his rag with all these foreigners coming and taking his job. After all, Brexit means Brexit, isn’t that right, Mark?
Until the next time.