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He outperformed Jovetic - Are Arsenal chasing wrong Fiorentina star?

Should Arsenal be looking at Adem Ljajic instead of Stevan Jovetic?

Arsenal appear set on signing Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina this summer, but should they rather be looking at his teammate?

Adem Ljajic could so nearly have been playing against Arsenal over the past few seasons, for in 2009 he agreed to join Manchester United only for work permit issues appearing to scupper the deal.

Ljajic ended up signing for Fiorentina, where he spent a difficult couple of campaigns, but this season he has blossomed into a truly outstanding performer.

While Fiorentina are keen to hang onto Jovetic, they are likely to be equally as desperate to hold onto Ljajic too, who has just one year remaining on his contract.

Ljajic can play as a centre forward or on the left side of a front three, splitting his Serie A performances equally over the course of the season.

This season while Jovetic's form has trailed off, it was his Serbian teammate who drove Fiorentina to the brink of a Champions League qualification berth.

This season Jovetic scored 13 goals and provided five assists in Serie A, while Ljajic netted 11 times, providing eight assists. In total Ljajic contributed one more goal to his side's league challenge.

Ljajic also recorded a higher pass completion rate of 88.1 per cent, compared to Jovetic's 78.7, although the Montenegrin did make narrowly more key passes per game, 1.8 compared to Ljajic's 1.6 and completes more successful dribbles on average, 2.1 compared to 1.7.

What the statistics show is overall there is very little to choose between the two players, with Ljajic two years younger than Jovetic at 21.

Saving money may not be what Arsenal fans want to hear right now, but given the fact Ljajic is in the final year of his contract and would cost the Gunners half the price, would buying him instead be such a bad idea?

His versatility to play on the left would also allow Lukas Podolski more license to play through the centre, and he would come to the Premier League with a point to prove to Manchester United who gave up on him so easily.

He may not be their first choice at this point, but if Jovetic was to end up moving to Juventus instead of Arsenal - or even staying, Ljajic would be a pretty good alternative.

Watch him in action below...

Ljajic or Jovetic? Who would you rather Arsenal sign?

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