Stats: Would Arsenal be better off with Lloris instead of Szczesny?

Hugo Lloris

Would Arsenal be statistically better off with the Tottenham Hotspur stopper?

Olivier Giroud's intriguing revelation that Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris would be interested in a move to Arsenal will certainly have caused a stir.

Not only would any potential move involve a switch between two fierce rivals, it would see two of the Premier League's best 'keepers go head-to-head for a place in the same team.

But would the Gunners be better off with the Frenchman in between the sticks, or would they be wiser to keep things as they are?

PlayerTeamPosSaves / appsTotal High Claim / appsPunches / appsDiving Save / appsAppsMins
Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal GK 3.20 1.52 0.68 1.88 25 2,250
Hugo Lloris Spurs GK 2.88 1.38 1.04 1.67 24 2,160

An initial consideration of the stats must, of course, take into account the goals conceded this season by both teams.

And in the Premier League so far, Arsenal have let in 26 and Spurs have conceded 32. Immediately, then, that stat works against Lloris, although Tottenham have played Manchester City twice - conceding five against them the second time around.

Remove that from the equation (as we do not yet know how many the Gunners will concede against them at the Emirates), plus the one goal that Brad Friedel conceded against Newcastle, and you have a more balanced appraisal. Goals conceded is also an indicator of your back four - not just your goalkeeper.

So to the heart of the matter and, of the above stats, Wojciech Szczesny comes out better in three of the four key areas. Szczesny claims more crosses in the air, makes more saves per game, and makes more diving saves, an indicator of his sharp reflexes.

The Frenchman's one victory here is a comprehensive one, though, with Lloris averaging 0.36 more punches per game than the Arsenal man.

PlayerTeamPosAccurate Goal Kicks / appsAccurate Keeper Throws / appsAccurate Keeper Sweeper / appsTotal Keeper Sweeper / appsAppsMins
Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal GK 5.36 5.28 1.16 1.24 25 2,250
Hugo Lloris Spurs GK 3.83 4.00 1.38 1.58 24 2,160

Next, a look at both goalkeepers' distribution still sees the Poland international edge out the Spurs stopper. With almost two accurate goal kicks more per game than Lloris - and more than one accurate throw more per game - Szczesny also brings Arsenal an added utility on the ball.

The only area in which Lloris wins outright is exactly what he is famous for: being a keeper sweeper and rushing off his line at speed to stop opposition players on the ball. Yet, even in this department, the Frenchman is only a marginal upgrade on Szczesny, both in terms of his accuracy and total attempts.

So, statistically, would there be any sense in Arsene Wenger signing Lloris?

Although stats are far from the be all and end all when it comes to judging a player's worth, they do provide a useful indicator. And, in this case, they prove that Szczesny has been a better goalkeeper than Lloris this season, meaning a move for the Spurs man would not be worth it.

Should Wenger consider bringing Lloris to Arsenal?

image: © Stanislav Vedmid

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