Time to Cash in? Why Nottingham Forest star Matty Cash is a Premier League target this month

Matty Cash has been linked with a move away from Nottingham Forest this month

Nottingham Forest star Matty Cash finds himself as a target for clubs in Europe's top leagues as the January transfer window enters the final week.

West Ham are the latest to submit a bid, believed to be worth £10m, but that is well short of AC Milan's proposal which would tally up to a total of £15m.

They're not the only two clubs in the running though with other Premier League sides believed to be interested in securing his signature before the 11pm deadline.

The 22-year-old has found himself utilised primarily as a right-back throughout the 2019/20 campaign but has experience playing in the right midfield role.

But why is the defender in demand this month? Tom Carnduff takes a look at the stats with comparisons to West Ham's Ryan Fredericks and Milan's Andrea Conti.

Defensive

Matty Cash blocks a shot from Hull's Kamil Grosicki

Despite having that experience in midfield, Cash has dropped back and made the right-back role his own at the City Ground.

He boasts a high number of successful tackles and clearances per game while his interceptions stand at a better rate than one per match, demonstrating his ability to read an attack coming against them.

Tackling could be pointed to as the stand-out strength in defence but his all-round defensive contribution has helped to establish him as one of the first names on Sabri Lamouchi's team sheet.


Matty Cash - Sky Bet Championship 2019/20

  • Interceptions per game - 1.4
  • Tackles per game - 3.0
  • Possession won in the final third - 0.2
  • Dribbled past per game - 1.0
  • Clearances per game - 2.9
  • Fouls - 0.7
  • Error leading to shot - 0
  • Error leading to goal - 0

Ryan Fredericks - Premier League 2019/20

  • Interceptions per game - 0.9
  • Tackles per game - 3.2
  • Possession won in the final third - 0.2
  • Dribbled past per game - 1.0
  • Clearances per game - 2.1
  • Fouls - 1.2
  • Error leading to shot - 1
  • Error leading to goal - 0

Andrea Conti - Serie A 2019/20

  • Interceptions per game - 1.9
  • Tackles per game - 1.8
  • Possession won in the final third - 0.3
  • Dribbled past per game - 1.6
  • Clearances per game - 1.7
  • Fouls - 1.3
  • Error leading to shot - 1
  • Error leading to goal - 0

Ryan Fredericks has shared the right-back responsibilities with Pablo Zabaleta at West Ham, while the same can be said for Andrea Conti with Davide Calabria, but Cash beats the Hammers man in most of the main areas.

He averages more interceptions per game, while also contributing more clearances. He has also failed to make an error leading to a shot this season whereas Fredericks has.

In the areas mentioned above, Cash beats Zabaleta in all areas. From a defensive point of view, he'd be a starter in this West Ham side.

Cash's stats also make for better reading that Conti in Serie A. Of course, it should be acknowledged that the 25-year-old is playing at a higher level of football, but the Forest man has shown that he is ready to play a role.

Conti does have more interceptions per game and does edge the possession won in the final third, albeit just, while Cash still holds more clearances and finds himself getting beaten less by a winger with the ball.

Dribbling

Matty Cash brings an attacking threat

Given his history playing further up the pitch, Cash brings a real attacking threat alongside a feeling of defensive solidity.

A significant area of strength is his ability to dribble and take players on. His successful dribbles rate throughout the season currently stands at 62% which puts him among the top-performing regular defenders in this category when you factor in the number attempted.


Matty Cash - Sky Bet Championship 2019/20

  • Successful dribbles per game - 1.0
  • Dribbles success rate - 62%
  • Was fouled per game - 1.0

Ryan Fredericks - Premier League 2019/20

  • Successful dribbles per game - 0.4
  • Dribbles success rate - 47%
  • Was fouled per game - 0.7

Andrea Conti - Serie A 2019/20

  • Successful dribbles per game - 0.4
  • Dribbles success rate - 71%
  • Was fouled per game - 0.8

Again, in similar fashion to the main defensive stats, Cash beats Fredericks and Conti when it comes to dribbling.

He sees more successful dribbles per game, over double those of the West Ham and Milan men, while his success rate stands at a solid 62%. While Conti's percentage may be higher, his much lower average should be considered here when the comparison is made.

It's also important to note that Cash is fouled more times per game as well, outlining how he likes to drive forward and contribute at the right-end of the pitch.

Attacking

Matty Cash has averaged 0.7 shots a game from defence

Cash has two goals and four assists on his tally this season but the attacking threat he provides goes much further than that.

In an age where full-backs are increasingly important to the way a team wants to play, Cash has stepped up and demonstrated all the right credentials to adapt to what his position has now become.

It becomes more than simply defending. A right-back needs to be as good in attack as he is in defence. Forest have that in Cash and it goes some way to explaining why there is so much interest in the January window.


Matty Cash - Sky Bet Championship 2019/20

  • Goals - 2
  • Assists - 4
  • Goals per game - 0.07
  • Shots per game - 0.7
  • Touches - 66.0
  • Big chances created - 3
  • Key passes - 1.1

Ryan Fredericks - Premier League 2019/20

  • Goals - 0
  • Assists - 2
  • Goals per game - 0.0
  • Shots per game - 0.0
  • Touches - 55.5
  • Big chances created - 1
  • Key passes - 0.9

Andrea Conti - Serie A 2019/20

  • Goals - 0
  • Assists - 1
  • Goals per game - 0.0
  • Shots per game - 0.0
  • Touches - 54.3
  • Big chances created - 1
  • Key passes - 0.7

Remarkably, Cash beats Conti and Fredericks in every single area mentioned above. His goal involvement is three times that of the West Ham right-back while neither he nor Conti has posted a shot this season.

The touches per game shows how the Forest man has more involvement on the ball. On average, he has over ten more than the other two per game.

Key passes and big chances created go hand-in-hand and these can only be done effectively in the opposition half. Fredericks and Conti have managed one each while Cash sits on three.

When it comes to that key passes per game metric, Cash tops the other two once again.

What these stats show is how a player can adapt to the attacking commitments required from him. It all comes down to the way a team plays and their intent on attack but having a player who has a strong all-round game gives more options and versatility.

How much is Matty Cash worth?

Matty Cash could cost a big fee to sign

Transfer values are subjective and fluctuate drastically depending on the time of year and the player's current role.

West Ham's reported £10m offer falls way short of what Forest could get from him in the final week of the window. Even AC Milan's £15m package could be viewed as short of the mark.

In the summer, a £15m price may be seen as fair with Forest having plenty of time to source a replacement. It's difficult for players from the Sky Bet Championship to attract a big price particularly in the defensive positions.

That said, the full-back areas are seemingly the most difficult to recruit in. They arguably need to be the most willing to change and adapt to a style of play and that's why utility is key.

Given the fact that just seven days remain in January, Forest could get over £20m if they opted to sell - although that's a debate in itself.

Cash has proven to be a vital cog in the Lamouchi machine and the East Midlands club are in the running to secure promotion to the Premier League.

£20m may seem a good price when viewed as an isolated deal but the value just isn't there with the context. That price tag is tiny in comparison to the riches that come with reaching England's top-flight.

What is clear is the fact that Cash has all the potential to hit the very top of the game with his whole career ahead of him. This won't be the first transfer window where we see the Forest star linked with a move to some of Europe's best-known clubs.

Where could he go?

West Ham are interested in signing Matty Cash

Odds via Sky Bet

West Ham have taken favouritism in the market following the news of their recent interest.

AC Milan may be the outsiders but have been said to have made what could be viewed as an attractive offer.

Brighton are an interesting option given their current needs in that area of the pitch alongside their desire to dominate possession and play attacking football.

The Seagulls also had little issue in buying players from the Championship in the summer, such as Neal Maupay and Adam Webster, while they also appointed Graham Potter as their head coach after he spent a season at Swansea.

Southampton are said to be on the lookout for full-backs before the deadline and Cash seems the ideal fit for what they need given the statistics outlined above.


Odds correct at 1730 GMT (24/01/20)

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