On Saturday, two players already linked to the Gunners faced up against each other, as the Ivory Coast met Japan in the second Group C game.
Toulouse fullback Serge Aurier faced up against Schalke's Atsuko Uchida in a compelling match, as Japan took the lead and withstood plenty of Ivorian pressure, only for two goals in two minutes to come and turn the match on its head, gifting the win to the African side.
Below we look at some of the stats the two players provided on the night, courtesy of Opta, hoping to shed some light on whether one of them did enough to convince Arsene Wenger to sign them up or keep on looking.
|Team||Goal Assist||Ontarget Scoring Att||Dribble|
Past Man %
|Serge Aurier||Côte d'Ivoire||2||0||100.00%||79.17%||42.86%|
Both players displayed impressive passing stats, with the Japanese defender just edging 21-year-old Aurier. The Toulouse man proved himself an impressive attacking force though, providing the two vital moments of superb crossing that helped turn the game round. Aurier set up both Wilfried Bony and Gervinho inside two minutes to give the Elephants the win. The Ivorian had plenty of joy on the right hand side, putting in 7 crosses, 3 of which found the head of a teammate.
Uchida had 100% accuracy in this department, but only put in 2 crosses throughout the 90 minutes. Similarly, though Aurier has a 100% success rate at dribbling past an opposition player, he only beat one man, while Uchida beat 2 out of 3.
|Serge Aurier||Côte d'Ivoire||0.00%||5||64.29%||1||2|
Though it's a close contest so far, the Schalke player does seem to have the edge over Aurier when it comes to defending. Uchida managed to win some of the headers he duelled players for, and also had a better percentage of winning tussles for possession. The Japanese left back also came out on top when it came to winning fouls, avoiding giving away fouls, and with his thrown in accuracy.
Though Serge Aurier may steal the glory with his rampaging runs and two assists, Atsuto Uchida stood out defensively for the defeated Japanese, and looks just as reasonable an option. Though Aurier is young enough to have room to develop, Uchida's experience in the Champions League with Schalke may just make him that bit more attractive