Last season, Tottenham Hotspur managed to hold onto Luka Modric after turning down a whopping £40 million bid from Chelsea. The diminutive playmaker didn't look like he wanted to be there anymore but he pulled his socks up and, like the previous season, became their lynch pin. Tottenham's season may well have dwindled massively following Harry Redknapp's court case and England manager saga, but it doesn't take away from the fact that they played some wonderful football.
After some fine individual performances at Euro 2012 with Croatia, he is once again touted for a move away from White Hart Lane. Maybe Andre Villas-Boas has some excellent persuasive skills and will manage to keep him but I doubt it. Another season without Champions League football may prove too much. Last season, just how much of Tottenham's impressive performances relied on how well Luka Modric played? He only scored four goals and got four assists, some might cry, but in reality, he ran the show.
Luka Modric played the most matches, played the most minutes and attempted and completed the most passes out of any of the top six passers in the league. His passing talent is there for all to see but it is his all-round physical game that is one of his greatest assets. In a midfield where energy has been lacking in seasons by gone by, Manchester United could really do with a dynamo of a midfielder. It would allow Michael Carrick to drop deeper in the midfield and play to his strengths in ball retention, positional play and interceptions.
"Sure, Modric might have the most completed passes but how many of them were in the opponents half?"
Over 50%. 1206/2200 to be precise. Luka Modric really brings the ball forward when he plays. He isn't a sideways midfielder, he acts as the bridge between midfield and attack and often gets the attacks going in the first place.
United had to rely on Rooney dropping deeper to bring the ball up the centre of the pitch or use the power and pace of our wingers to start our attacks. We didn't carry enough of a threat through the middle.
"OK, Modric played a lot of his passes in the opponents half but how many of them were where it really matters?"
He completed 533 passes in the final third, 85.3% of those that he attempted with only Silva and Nasri completing more. This is reflected in the fact that Modric created 95 chances across the season, second only to Silva and Mata on 102.
The fact that Modric only had four assists in comparison to Mata (13) and Silva (15) had more to do with poor finishing than a lack of ability. If he was feeding Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck, those figures would no doubt improve.
These are but a few statistics I have used to show how important Luka Modric was to Tottenham last season. He had the most touches (3402) out of any midfielder, he received the most passes (2281) out of any midfielder. Everywhere you look, Modric's name is there.
With Manchester United now applying to be floated on the New York Stock Exchange to raise funds due to our crippling debt, combined with a net transfer spend of over £20 million already this summer, the money may well not be there for a marquee signing like Modric. However, we were in for Hazard, so maybe it is. Either way, if United were to land the Croatian, a gaping hole in our midfield would disappear (pending injuries, of course, it is United after all).
All statistics provided by Fantasy Football Scout.