Scunthorpe United completed the signing of midfielder Yann Songo’o after he opted to leave Plymouth Argyle.
The tough-tackling 27-year-old played a key role in the Pilgrims’ fight against the drop last season, although they ultimately tumbled out of the third tier along with the Iron.
Songo’o has now swapped one relegated club for the other, linking up with Paul Hurst at Glanford Park. It’s certainly going to be a blow for Plymouth, who also saw Freddie Ladapo, Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras leave over the summer.
The attacking trio will be a big loss for the Pilgrims, but how much will they feel the impact of the midfielder’s departure? We shine a spotlight on his stats last season to find out.
Songo’o played 42 times during the Pilgrims tough season, clearly demonstrating he was an integral part of their side. It’s not necessarily a good thing of course; they were relegated and that suggests certainly elements of the side were not functioning correctly.
Songo’o spent his time in two positions for the Pilgrims, on the right hand side of the back four or in a holding midfield role. Both of his positions demand a physicality, aerial presence and a tough tackler. Plymouth leaked goals, but did Songo’o do his bit and will his contribution be missed?
In terms of tackling, he’s certainly a tough one.
He picked up eight bookings through the season and in his role, you only get booked if you’re putting in the challenges. He had no choice in some matches as Plymouth were under pressure, especially at the start of the season and his sliding tackle success rate was 68%.
His aerial prowess certainly can’t be questioned though and points to his effectiveness as a central defender. He made 9.13 aerial duels per game, 58.3% of which were a success.
The interesting factor here is he’s been signed by Scunthorpe as a replacement for Funso Ojo and will more than likely play a bulk of his matches in the midfield.
That was one area Plymouth fans questioned his ability in, but his pass success rate suggests he had the composure to sit in front of the back four, delivering 77.2% of his passes to a teammate accurately.
He certainly provided a physical presence in both positions for Plymouth and as yet, they’ve not moved to replace that skillset.
The question is whether Ryan Lowe will want to get a like for like replacement, as his slick Bury side didn’t have a seriously strong enforcer in either role, preferring ball-playing centre backs and passing midfielder.