Which is the better Arsenal 'target' - Schneiderlin or Carvalho?

Arsenal v Southampton 2012 Pregame with Schneiderlin

Arsenal are linked with defensive midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and William Carvalho but which would be the better option for the Gunners?

The North Londoners are rumoured to be in the market for a defensive midfielder this summer – Arsenal have been heavily linked with interest in Germany stars Sami Khedira and Lars Bender but now are reportedly interested in other targets.

24-year-old Southampton midfielder Morgan Schniederlin is one and 22-year-old Sporting CP star William Carvalho is another, but which of the two would be the wiser acquisition?

France international Schneiderlin is two years Carvalho’s senior and impressed at St Mary’s last term, making 33 appearances in the Premier League, while Carvalho was thrust into the spotlight in Portugal making 29 appearances in the Primeira Liga.

The English and Portuguese top tiers are a little different in terms of competitiveness and intensity but, luckily, both players were on show at the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Carvalho made two appearances for Portugal while Schneiderlin made just the one for France but the Frenchman achieved the higher pass completion rate with his 92.86% success rate to Carvalho’s still very impressive 90.1%.

  TeamPosPass Accuracy %AppsMins
Morgan Schneiderlin France MF 92.86 1 90
  TeamPosPass Accuracy %AppsMins
William Carvalho Portugal MF 90.10 2 135

The younger of the pair won a slightly greater percentage of his aerial duels, 39%, to the Frenchman’s 38% but Schneiderlin completed the greater number of defensive actions, four per game on average to Carvalho’s three.

However, Carvalho made 60% more clearances than his elder counterpart whilst Schneiderlin made the greater number of interceptions. Carvalho created just one chance for Portugal whilst Schneiderlin created two for France across the tournament.

Overall, given that Schneiderlin is by far the more experienced, especially having already acclimatized to the Premier League and that he would likely be the cheaper option of the two, the Frenchman would be the better suited to Arsenal if it’s a genuinely defensive midfielder they’re after this summer.

Although it cannot be denied that Carvalho’s potential is exciting and if the Gunners don’t sign him, he’ll likely be snapped up by another of the continent’s elite in due course.

Just how ready Carvalho is right now, could be the deciding factor in Arsene Wenger's mind, but more poignant could just be that the Saints star could be a full £15 million cheaper.

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