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Andy Yiadom or Dimitri Cavare - who would be the better full-back for Huddersfield

Published on: 10 August 2017
Ghana's Andy Yiadom

Judging on past performance and the statistics they've posted at their best, there might not be much separating the two potential signings.

It seems somewhat churlish to pick holes in Huddersfield's transfer strategy this summer given how excellent their business has been to date, but it would be dishonest to behave like the squad is yet complete - that's not something even David Wagner has claimed. The current priority, right-back, has had much discussion over recent weeks; but with the tour to Austria, the ongoing rehabilitation of Tommy Smith, never ending speculation concerning Andy Yiadom and Dimitri Cavare taking part in an extended trial, we're no closer to knowing what solution the club have in mind.

Last season, on the few occasions Tommy Smith wasn't available, Martin Cranie would deputise admirably - but that not be enough at the highest level. Cranie is an extremely useful player to have in the squad given his utility nature, and he rarely puts in a bad performance no matter which position he's asked to provide cover for, but with how important fullbacks are in David Wagner's system and the clear disparity in quality between the Premier League and Championship, having two speciality players in each position is obviously the desire. That said, should worst come to worst and both men find themselves unavailable, Cranie would be the ideal player to call upon in that situation.

There is a clear competition between Cavare and Yiadom for the role of secondary right-back, with each having their own unique appeal. Yiadom, far less of an unknown quantity, has the advantage of increased exposure to the English game, a proven track record and desirable contract situation.

Barnsley rate their man as amongst the best in his position in the division, and don't appear to be willing to allow him to move cheaply, which is hardly unreasonable. Linked to Swansea and Leeds, noises coming from South Yorkshire imply that the player is ready to leave when given the chance, despite having played all 90-minutes of his sides Championship opener.

Cavare, a player few had heard of before his arrival on trial, has managed to polarise those who have seen him play in the short time he's spent with Town so far. Reportedly excellent in his first run out against Barnsley, he was the complete and utter opposite in the Udinese friendly at home, costing Huddersfield a goal almost single-handedly and failing to make an impact going forwards.

His performances appeared to level out in Austria, but there has been no suggestion that he's managed to repeat the level seen in the first game of his trial, which is a shame. It must be noted, however, that he is coming back from a major knee injury, so is short of both match fitness and practice. It's no secret just how difficult David Wagner is to train for at the best of times, so to have kept up following an extended period on the sidelines is no mean feat. There is a risk associated with signing players who've an injury record like his, and given that he was forced to exit the training camp early with another knock, that's likely something the club will want looked in to definitively before any offers are made.

The most important question, though, is which player is best suited to David Wagner, his system, and the brand of football he likes to play? Given the work he did with Tommy Smith, it's not out of the question to assume he'll improve whichever player is chosen to be brought in, but the club will be after the most malleable and impressive existing skill set they can. Statistically, the two matches Cavare managed for Rennes last season were both impressive defensively, but he made little to no impression on the matches going forwards. In his best season to date, at Lens in 2014/15. much the same story emerges: competent in defence, useful with the ball at feet, but unlikely to provide the telling passes and crosses that Tommy Smith has become known for.

Yiadom, a far more rounded player, doesn't boast as impressive numbers as Cavare has, but his contribution is far more evenly distributed, with less holes in his game apparent. Neither player appears able to hold a flame to Smith at present, but - in fairness - neither has had the opportunity to work with a coach as instrumental as David Wagner for an extended period, either. It's clear why Town were so interested in Yiadom and submitted the bids they did: doing everything well is exactly the sort of canvas Wagner could work from. Yet, with Cavare, although certainly more of a risk, there's potential for a larger upside should he manage to regain fitness and consistency.

It's not hard to see how or why the club have identified these two as potential signings, but picking between the two seems far more difficult than it may at first when past and peak performance are thrown in to the mix. That said, however, David Wagner has rarely made an error in the transfer market since joining Huddersfield, so there's no reason to think that whoever he lands on won't be the right decision.

Source: examiner.co.uk

 

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