By Jason Jones

26th May, 2020 | 8:09am

Ibrox View: Stats surely show Rangers must avoid summer swoop for Fofana

Rangers are likely to be linked with a whole host of players this summer. 

With prospect of a dreaded 10-in-a-row looming next term, it would be no surprise to see something of an overhaul at Ibrox as Steven Gerrard looks to take drastic measures in his efforts to prevent his side from going down in history for all the wrong reasons.

And as far as transfer rumours go, they don’t get much more direct than a player’s agent confirming a club’s interest in his client.

The representative of FC Metz centre-back Mamadou Fofana has done exactly that.

Seku Traore suggests that the Gers are keeping a close eye on the 22-year-old, who has already amassed 17 senior caps for Mali.

But would the youngster really be capable of doing a job at Ibrox next season?

If we’re being honest, it has never been more important that the Gers make smart moves in the transfer market, simply because the stakes have never been higher.

That means bringing in players who can notably improve on what we already have.

We’re not so sure Fofana would do that.

So far this season, Fofana has averaged 5.18 interceptions per game, as per Wyscout, and has made 9.37 ball recoveries.

As a point of reference, Connor Goldson, who has come in for his own criticisms this term, has averaged 5.19 interceptions and 13.71 recoveries.

And that’s a recurring pattern in the comparative statistics between the two.

Fofana either matches the 27-year-old’s output, barely, or more usually, falls fairly short of it.

As an example, over the course of this season, Goldson has averaged 6.67 aerial duels per game, with a success rate of 67.9% – meaning that he wins an average of 4.52 per match.

As the graph above illustrates, Fofana has failed to reach that tally in any game this season, and has only won three duels over the course of 90 minutes once.

In fact his win rate is just 29.5% – and he contests an average of 2.51 per game – leaving him with a measly average of 0.74 successes per 90 minutes.

We see a similar thing when we compare the two players’ average number of clearances per game.

Fofana has managed more than four clearances on just four occasions this season, as pictured in the graph above.

In contrast, Goldson’s average per game is 4.07, and he has exceed that tally on 18 separate outings, as pictured below.

Of course, Fofana is young, and given time he could grown into a decent enough player.

But Rangers need immediate results next season, and that means only moving for players who can hit the ground running with a positive impact.

The Malian seems to lack the towering presence that Goldson boasts at the heart of defence, and for a league with as much cut and thrust as the Scottish Premiership, that could be a problem.

If the Gers are indeed considering a move for Fofana this summer, we would advise against it.

In other Rangers news, Hartson claims catching Celtic will be ‘ridiculously difficult’ task for Gers next season.