Mikel Arteta vs Sami Khedira - who is statistically stronger?

We take a look at Arsenal's existing defensive midfielder in comparison to strongly linked target Sami Khedira.

With rumours of a switch to Arsenal having gathered pace throughout the latter stages of the World Cup in Brazil, Germany holding midfielder Sami Khedira could be the fourth World Cup winner set to feature in the red and white of Arsenal next season.

However, given the long held demand for a top class defensive midfielder to come in and anchor the middle of Arsene Wenger's side, it is worth analysing how the team's existing defensive midfielder has performed.

Though Mathieu Flamini made plenty of appearances for Arsenal last season, he featured in some 800 minutes less action than vice-captain Mikel Arteta.

Below we compare Arteta's stats from last season with Khedira's form during the World Cup, boiling the stats down to averages per appearance. 

  TeamPassing Accuracy %GoalsPoss Won Mid 3rd / appsInterception / appsDuel Won / appsWon Tackle / appsAppsMins
Sami Khedira Germany WC 2014 85.09 1 2.20 0.40 3.00 0 5 376
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2013-2014 91.57 2 3.00 2.03 6.19 2.29 31 2,407

Though Arteta is a player many Gunners fans have identified as a weak link in Arsenal's midfield, his stats above clearly indicate that he has plenty to offer in comparison to the Real Madrid's German star.

Arteta actually had the highest passing percentage of any regularly playing non defender in the whole of the Premier League last season, with a 92% completion rate superb considering it came across the Spaniard's 31 games. The former Everton man also trumps Khedira's World Cup showings in defensive areas such as winning possession back in midfield, and interceptions, duels and tackles won per appearance.

Given Arteta's passing stats it is easy to see why he could perhaps be utilised as a more attacking influence, as he did to good effect at Everton. Though he has done well at the Emirates, the 32-year-old is a less physical and less mobile player that Khedira, who himself proved he is capable coming forward against in Germany's rout of Brazil.

Whether Arsenal's passing game may suffer slightly if Khedira was to replace Arteta, only time will tell, yet with the likes of the explosive Alexis Sanchez already at the club, Arsene Wenger's team may just be about to eschew possession for the sake of it in favour of a more efficient attacking threat.

And that could mean trophies on the horizon.

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