How Shrewsbury's James Bolton's performances compared to Portsmouth duo Nathan Thompson and Anton Walkes last season

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Shrewsbury full-back James Bolton is reportedly set to join Pompey. 

He’s poised to move to Fratton Park on a free transfer, according to the Shropshire Star.

New signing James Bolton. Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

New signing James Bolton. Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

As it stands, it appears Bolton will arrive as Nathan Thompson’s replacement. 

The former Swindon captain has yet to sign a new contract, with his current two-year deal expiring at the end of this month.

Thompson has a desire to play in the Championship and shelved negoations midway through last term to see what division Pompey would be in for 2019-20. 

Anton Walkes is Kenny Jackett’s other current right-back option among the current squad.

The former Spurs man has had to be patient sitting behind Thompson in the pecking order and will be eyeing up a regular starting spot – regardless of whether his team-mate leaves or not. 

So using Wyscout – the professional platform for people working in football – we’ve crunched the trio’s numbers and compared their stats from last season. 

First and foremost, Jackett wants his full-backs to defend.

In terms of one-v-one duels, Thompson’s regarded as the best at Fratton Park.

Last campaign, he won 43.5 per cent of his tackles and 61 per cent of his aerial battles.

That’s superior to Bolton, who came out on top of 41.6 per cent of his challenges for the Shrews and 52.2 per cent of his headers.

Walkes was victorious in 55 per cent of his aerial duels but only 38.8 per cent in skirmishes overall. 

Meanwhile, it was Bolton who averaged the most interceptions each game. 

The 24-year-old cut out 5.42 passes per 90 minutes in comparison to Thompson (4.7) and Walkes (4.3). 

Offensively, Jackett does allow his full-backs to foray forward in the right circumstances.

Thompson won three penalties for Pompey last term and was successful with 72 per cent of his dribbles.

That’s slightly better than Walkes (70 per cent), while Bolton (59 per cent) was quite a distance behind in that category.

After jaunting forward, Thompson will often look to get round the winger in front of him and try to put a ball into the box.

The 28-year-old’s crosses found a team-mate 30.6 per cent of the time – compared to Bolton’s 22.6 per cent.

It was Walkes who was strongest in that department, though, as he picked out a Pompey man 38.7 per cent of the time. 

Thompson rarely gave the ball away for Jackett’s side last season, with 77.1 per cent of his balls finding a team-mate.

Walkes was second best in that category (72.9 per cent), while 67.4 per cent of Bolton’s passes found their intended target. 

 All three defenders registered a solitary goal.

But in terms of shots on target, Walkes proved most accurate.

Forty per cent of his efforts were between the posts, with Thompson (35.7 per cent) and Bolton (20 per cent) in behind.