The stats that suggest Arsenal's chase of £23 million target may not be worthwhile

Sami Khedira

Real Madrid's Sami Khedira doesn't compare favourably to Arsenal's current options in midfield from his performances at the World Cup.

Arsene Wenger’s financial prudence in the transfer window is finally showing signs of ending, with the club seemingly prepared to spend huge sums to enable them to mount a genuine title challenge this season.

Wenger’s biggest strength has also been his weakness in recent times – with his preference to find bargains rather than spend big on proven quality frustrating much of the fan-base.

However, with Mesut Ozil joining the Emirates for a record fee of £42.5 million last summer and Alexis Sanchez being bought for £30 million during this current transfer window there is a renewed optimism around Arsenal.

The club is showing no signs of stopping there, either, with Sami Khedira also linked with a big money move to the London club from Real Madrid.

And the signing of Khedira would only serve to further increase the anticipation and expectation that Arsenal may finally be able to end their wait for a Premier League title, which has lasted since the 2003/04 season.

The German midfielder would be expected to bring the qualities that are currently missing, as shown by his performances at the World Cup.

Khedira had to rush back from injury to ensure he could play for Germany, but he was at the very top of his game and proved why he is considered one of the finest at his role in the world.

The 27-year-old was a powerhouse in the middle for his nation, on their way to the title, breaking up play, but also surging forward in possession and springing numerous attacks for his side.

That said, the stats shown in the table below, suggest that he wouldn’t actually be too much of an upgrade on what Arsenal have at the moment.

  TeamPosWon Tackle / appsDuel Won / appsTouches / appsDispossessed / appsInterception / appsAccurate Pass / appsTotal Clearance / appsOutfielder Block / appsAppsMins
Sami Khedira Germany MF 0 3.00 53.80 0.80 0.40 38.60 1.20 0 5 376
  TeamPosWon Tackle / appsDuel Won / appsTouches / appsDispossessed / appsInterception / appsAccurate Pass / appsTotal Clearance / appsOutfielder Block / appsAppsMins
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 2.29 6.19 82.68 0.39 2.03 63.94 1.74 0.23 31 2,407
Jack Wilshere Arsenal MF 1.13 5.17 66.08 1.25 0.42 43.75 0.21 0.17 24 1,719
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 0.93 3.15 51.48 0.48 1.44 38.11 1.85 0.41 27 1,604

Although a midfield five of Khedira, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla may look a tantalising prospect on paper, the likes of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere all outperformed him in categories last season.

Only Flamini, typically a midfield destroyer, completed fewer passes per game than Khedira and was less involved in terms of touches.

It was also noticeable that Khedira did not win a tackle during the World Cup, whilst he also contributed less to the defensive side of the game than any current Arsenal player in terms of interceptions and blocks.

It suggests that Khedira’s eye-catching performances may not actually have the impact that they may be expected to at Arsenal, although there is a danger of reading too much into statistical figures in modern day football.

The immeasurable boost that it would give the club’s supporters would obviously be a major plus for the club and that positivity would unquestionably translate into better results, as momentum would be on Arsenal’s side right from the season’s start.

Khedira also offers the physicality that the other members that he would be jostling for a position in the starting line-up with at the Emirates do not.

Wenger, though, must weigh up whether he is worth the considerable cost or whether he would be better off spending the money elsewhere.

One position that certainly needs additions over the course of this window is up-front and a world-class striker may be of more value to Arsenal’s side than Khedira would be, if these stats are anything to go by.

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