Stats: Eto'o vs Giroud - Is former Chelsea man a worthwhile signing for Arsenal?

Samuel Eto'o Cameroon

Is Samuel Eto'o a worthwhile signing for Arsenal? Here we compare his statistics to current first team striker Olivier Giroud.

Arsene Wenger is looking to bring another striker to Arsenal this summer as competition for Olivier Giroud and Samuel Eto’o could be his man.

The Cameroonian striker is now a free agent, having been released by Chelsea, and he is eager to join the Gunners in an attempt to exact revenge on former boss Jose Mourinho.

According to the Mirror, Chelsea wanted to keep the striker, but after Mourinho's comments Eto'o is now set to leave the club. With numerous offers coming in from clubs including MLS and the Middle East, Eto'o is still adamant that the only club he wants to join is Arsenal.

Here we conduct a stats comparison Arsenal’s current front man, Oliver Giroud, and Eto’o.

Stats Analysis

On first reflection, Oliver Giroud outscored Samuel Eto’o this season, netting an impressive 16 goal to Cameroonian’s nine. However, a closer look at the stats actually suggests the former Chelsea-man boasts a greater goals per minute ratio. Ultimately, the Arsenal target has scored more often than his potential teammate.

  TeamPositionTotal GoalsMinutes per GoalAppearancesMinutes Played
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 16 192.56 36 3,081
Samuel Eto'o Chelsea FW 9 145.11 21 1,306

Eto’o remains the more prolific of the two when we analyse his shot conversion. Throughout the Premier League season he buried 15.25% of his 59 chances, whilst Giroud found success 15.25% of the time. The latter was also guilty of missing the most ‘big chances’, as he failed to score from 20 clear-cut opportunities.

  Conversion Rate (%)Big Chance Missed
Samuel Eto'o 15.25 6
Olivier Giroud 14.29 20

Nonetheless, the statistics suggests that Giroud is the most creative player, or, at least, he was last season. Throughout his 36 appearances, the Frenchman assisted eight goals, whilst creating an impressive 37 opportunities for his teammates. Eto’o was less successful in this department; assisting just two goals and 22 chances in his 21 matches.

  Goal Assists Total Chances Created Total Big Chances Created
Olivier Giroud 8 37 9
Samuel Eto'o 2 22 4

However, when we disregard Giroud’s playing time advantage, Eto’o’s stats actually become more comparable. In fact, the latter created an attacking chance more often than the former throughout the season, despite experiencing less first team action.

Giroud may have registered a greater number of assists, but this actually tells us more about a misfiring Chelsea side, rather than Eto’o’s creative ability.

  Minutes per Goal AssistMinutes per Attacking Chance CreatedMinutes per Big Chance Created 
Olivier Giroud 385.13 83.27 342.33
Samuel Eto'o 653.00 59.36 326.50

Giroud’s dominance in the air is also worth noting, as he brings a new dimension to the Arsenal attack in this regard. His midfield team mates offer considerably less in terms of physicality and he brings this edge to the current side.

The Frenchman dominates this field when comparing the two strikers, with Eto’o winning just six aerial duels all season. The Gunners would miss this aspect of Giroud’s game if he failed to retain his place in the starting eleven.

  Aerial WonAerial Duel Success Rate (%)
Olivier Giroud 146 52.71
Samuel Eto'o 6 30.00

In terms of dribbling and the ability to run past an opponent when in possession, Samuel Eto’o is superior, as one might expect. The 33-year-old is exceptional on the ball as he has proven throughout the past campaign.

Conclusion

Based on season totals alone, Olivier Giroud appears the superior striker by a long stretch. However, when the statistics are analysed in more depth, Eto’o becomes the more effective player.

The Cameroonian’s ability, plus his desire to exact revenge on Jose Mourinho could prove a deadly combination and a useful tool for the Gunners. As a free agent, he’s certainly worth the gamble.

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