£37m Arsenal defensive midfield target impresses in CL, Arteta display comparison

William Carvalho impressed in the Champions League in a week in which Arsenal showed they could really have benefitted from his services.

Arsenal's need for a top class defensive midfielder was badly exposed against Borussia Dortmund, with Mikel Arteta putting in a particularly disappointing display.

One player the club were strongly linked with signing in the summer was Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho, with the Portuguese international playing his first ever Champions League game in midweek.

Carvalho helped Sporting secure a point in a 1-1 draw away to Slovenian champions Maribor, but will face tougher challenges against Schalke and Chelsea as Group G progresses.

In his performance against Maribor, he had far less to do that Arteta would have done against Dortmund, but still managed it comfortably, winning the ball back more times for his side than the Spaniard.

  TeamKey PassesPass Accuracy %Won TacklesShotsSuccessful Final Third PassesBall RecoveriesMins
William Carvalho Sporting 2 82.35 1 3 24 7 90
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 0 80.00 1 0 4 5 77

The most impressive aspect of Carvalho's display was the attacking side of his game. While Arteta offered nothing in this regard, the youngster excelled.

Arteta barely entered the final third as Arsenal struggled to get a grip on the game, while Carvalho showed his willingness, and ability, in creating two chances.

It will be fascinating to see Carvalho go toe-to-toe with Chelsea twice, and looking at how the 22-year-old is impressing so far in his career, you'd be hard pressed to bet against him shining.

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