Scouting Aston Villa transfer target: Josh Scowen

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Scowen of Barnsley battles for the ball with Dale Stephens of Brighton
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Scowen of Barnsley battles for the ball with Dale Stephens of Brighton /
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Aston Villa is reportedly keen on yet another Barnsley footballer. This time, it’s 24-year midfielder Josh Scowen, who was a mainstay for the Tykes. Is Scowen an improvement  over the likes of Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury, and Gary Gardner?

Josh Scowen rejected an initial Barnsley contract offer that would keep the Englishman at Oakwell for a further three years. Scowen joins a list of Barnsley footballers who either recently left the club, or will be leaving this summer.

We covered it here when Villa made contact with fellow Barnsley midfielder, Marley Watkins.

Scowen is an all-action central midfielder who played approximately 3,000 minutes of Championship football this season. He scored two goals with a further four assists, while completing exactly 70% of his passes.

In addition to playing central midfield, Scowen made seven appearances on the right of midfield. His overall production actually improved while playing slightly out-of-position.

To quantify Josh Scowen in comparison to other Championship starters, I ran a Squawka matrix with several key midfield per-90 statistics. Scowen didn’t exactly overly impress from an offensive standpoint. His pedestrian offensive output was supplemented with poor chances created and key passes metrics. Mile Jedinak, for example, created almost as many chances in the final third per ninety minutes.

However, Scowen did show impressive statistics from the middle third. He averaged over 1.5 interceptions and tackles won per ninety. What that matrix did show is that Gary Gardner really needs to improve going into next season.

Perhaps Steve Bruce sees Scowen as an understudy to Mile Jedinak. He possesses similar qualities, but he’s not exactly a like-for-like replacement.

Scowen is under six feet, measuring in at 5’10”.

Next: Scouting Aston Villa Target, George Boyd

Josh Scowen will spend a majority of the 2017/2018 season at the age of 24, after his birthday occurred this March. Upping central midfield every transfer window is a must in modern day football. The player being on a free transfer makes a deal even sweeter for the acquiring club.

Scowen would help Aston Villa, but he doesn’t move the needle much in either direction.