Projecting into the future of the 2013/14 season, based on the statistics of last season, would it be conceivable that Arsenal could win the Premier League title if they signed Liverpool’s Luis Suarez?
I’m going to compare Arsenal with English champions Manchester United last term. The Red Devils scored a total of 86 goals for and conceded 43 goals against making a goal difference of 43.
Arsenal scored 72 goals for, conceded 37 against and their goal difference was 35. It’s difficult to account for points so I’m going to work off goals and assists from predominantly the forward players and playmakers.
Robin van Persie earned his second Golden Boot in a row with his 26 goals and 15 assists. Wayne Rooney made up 10 goals and 12 assists, Javier Hernandez made up 10 goals and 5 assists, and Shinji Kagawa made up 6 goals and 4 assists, totalling 54 goals and 34 assists between those four key players.
Arsenal’s equivalent key players Olivier Giroud scored 11 and made 5, Theo Walcott scored 14 and made 12, Lukas Podolski scored 11 and made 10, and Santi Cazorla scored 12 and made 12, making a total of 48 goals and 39 assists between them – 6 goals less than United and 5 assists more.
Looking at the cover forwards and attackers than contributed here are there, United’s Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young managed a combined 2 goals and 15 assists compared to Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey who contributed 7 goals and 12 assists together.
The remaining 16 goals for United and 17 goals for Arsenal came from either midfield, defence or from opposition own goals and that difference is roughly the same.
If you consider that the Gunners actually conceded 6 goals fewer than Manchester United, it becomes a clearer picture that would present an intriguing prospect for Arsenal if they signed Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
The 26-year-old Uruguayan scored 23 goals and made 11 assists for the Merseyside outfit which, if you added that to Arsenal’s end-of-season tally they would have 95 goals and possibly more if you factor in his 11 assists. That would put the Gunners 9 goals ahead of United’s tally with fewer conceded and make a goal difference of 58 compared to United’s difference of 43.
Brining in Luis Suarez would effectively equate to what might have been had Arsenal kept Robin van Persie for the final year of his contract at the Emirates instead of selling him United.
Those who would rightfully point to competition from Manchester City and Chelsea could look at the 93 goals City scored in 2011/12 to win the title. City had a goal difference of 64 that season as they conceded just 29 goals against.
Compared to that season, Arsenal would still not necessarily win the title as City would have a better goal difference by 6 goals, despite Arsenal’s (plus Suarez’) tally of a projected 95-plus goals.
The last time Chelsea won the title in 2009/10, they scored an incredible 103 goals and conceded just 32, giving them a goal difference of 71 (a clear 23 goals ahead of the runners up United that term). In that year, again, Suarez would likely not be enough to take the Premier League title to the Emirates.
Who knows what’s in store for 2013/14 but, potentially, if Arsenal can sign Luis Suarez they would definitely give themselves a far greater chance of winning a trophy and would make themselves at the very least genuine challengers for the Premier League title for the first time in a decade.
Is that worth £50 million? I assume the fans would certainly think so.
image: © jikatu