Stats do have value, but I really feel the most important skill here is choosing the right stats to look at, understanding the impact playing for good/bad or possession/counter attacking teams has on stats, and using them in combination with watching how they play.
Someone the other day posted a great database of stats on defensive targets. Interestingly, John stones came near the top for many categories. But you need to take into account that he plays for city, usually faces weaker opponents and to the eye doesn’t have great command of a defence.
I feel like using stats the wrong way is how we ended up with guys like mustafi and Xhaka. Now, they have improved towards the tail end of the season for sure. But would I choose them as premier targets when building a top 4 squad? No.
I just hope arteta brought in a team that uses stats the right way and assesses targets that will help him implement his tactics. Because it’s impossible for arteta to develop his desired tactical identity until he has players who can execute it.