Alex Tettey: More influential than Jordan Henderson?
Photo: Getty Images

As the side looking destined for relegation prepare to host the champions elect, the news of Alex Tettey signing a one-year contract extension has ghosted somewhat under the radar, much like the way the defensive midfielder goes about his business on the pitch.

One of just two outfield players over the age of 30 at Carrow Road, Tettey is quietly impressing with a neat and tidy demeanour, doing his best to propel Norwich into a survival challenge.

Leader

Edging closer to a century of Premier League appearances and 250 matches in a Norwich shirt, Tettey's contract was due to expire in the summer.

Yet, as Daniel Farke builds for the future, the Norwegian's influence will be vital to the development of those around him.

His inspiration at present is underpinned by numerous statistics. Tettey has played in each of Norwich's four Premier League victories, a stark contrast to their results without him - one point from six matches with 18 goals conceded, including five against Aston Villa and four in the reverse fixture of Saturday's opponents.

Passer

Whilst Tettey's performances have been overshadowed by Norwich's poor results in the top-flight, Liverpool and England captain Jordan Henderson has been flooded with praise as his side storm towards a first Premier League title with the potential to achieve 100 points and conclude the season unbeaten.

But Tettey can take great confidence from powering past Henderson in two crucial areas, competing with the very best in the country on statistical evidence.

Tettey has the second best pass success rate (of those to play at least ten games) outside players at the 'Big Six' clubs only behind, perhaps surprisingly, his Norwich colleague, Tom Trybull.

With 87.5% of his passes finding a yellow shirt, he can boast better accuracy than the likes of Jorginho, Mesut Ozil, David Silva, Joao Moutinho, Youri Tielemans and Henderson himself. Even Manchester United targets Jack Grealish and James Maddison are behind Tettey in this area.

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Whilst it could be argued that a handful of those names play further forward and attempt more attacking passes than Tettey, you cannot fault his reading of the game.

Tettey sits just outside the top ten central midfielders for interceptions per game with an average of 1.5. The likes of Fabinho, Harry Winks, Fernandinho and Henderson again cannot match the Norwich veteran's data. But is that because their sides face fewer attacks?

Tettey puts his performances down to being happy in East Anglia, as he explained to the Norwich City website.

“It’s massive for me. It feels so good to be in Norwich and my family are happy. When my family is happy, I’m happy. I have been for many years since I’ve been here, so it’s nothing new to me, but it’s a very big and positive thing for me."

Key figure

And Tettey understands he is an important figure in the development of Norwich's youngsters.

“I do give advice whenever it’s necessary, but you don’t want to be on the young players all the time because you have to give them some room to grow and learn themselves. All the senior guys do give advice."

Manager Daniel Farke added, “Alex is a fully accepted leader in our group and a role model for our younger players, and the quality of his performances have been really important.”

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