How Arsenal's reported £5m target compares to Gunners' defensive trio

Arsenal have been linked with West Ham United's Winston Reid, so how does he compare with the Gunners' current centre-backs?

According to a recent report in The Times, Arsenal are among the clubs keeping a very close eye on Winston Reid's contract situation at West Ham United.

The report claimed the Hammers had given the New Zealand international until the middle of January to sign a new contract, with the suggestion that they would sell for a fee in the region of £5million rather than risk losing him for nothing.

There is no doubt Arsenal are in desperate need of quality defensive reinforcements - as their recent capitulations have shown - but how does Reid compare with the three recognised centre-backs currently at the Emirates Stadium?

As you can see from the Opta stats, the West Ham player has the worst passing accuracy of the four players below, which is no real surprise when you consider Arsenal's playing style.  However Reid averages more outfield blocks, effective clearances, effective headed clearances and aerial battles than any of Arsenal's current central defenders.

  Passing AccuracyOutfield BlocksTackles WonEffective ClearancesEffective Head ClearancesDuels WonAerials WonInterceptions WonMins Played
Laurent Koscielny 93% 0.5 1.17 4 1.17 3.5 1.17 4.17 476
Per Mertesacker 91% 0.4 0.5 4.6 2.1 4.3 2.7 2.5 900
Calum Chambers 87% 0 2.4 4.1 2.8 6.2 1.5 1.7 792
Winston Reid 83% 0.82 1 9.45 6.09 5.36 3.09 1.36 924

Aerial vulnerability has been a major problem for Arsenal in recent weeks, with Nacho Monreal (who has not been included here because he is not a centre-back no matter what Arsene Wenger may believe) failing to win a single aerial challenge in the recent match against Swansea City.

In Reid Arsenal would be signing a player who has plenty of Premier League experience but can also do the dirty stuff with ease, getting the ball back to the players who can entertain at the opposite end of the pitch.

There are areas where the West Ham player falls short when compared with Arsenal's stars, most notably in terms of interceptions won. But if he did arrive in North London he would be signed for a very specific reason - to add aerial authority to Wenger's back-line.  And for a reported £5million, he would be a bargain.

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