Alan Smith: Stoke City’s Steven N’Zonzi showed what Arsenal do not have

Alan Smith analyses Steven N’Zonzi’s performance for Stoke City against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has been singing the praises of Stoke City midfielder Steven N’Zonzi.

The 25-year-old gave yet another superb performance in defensive midfield on Saturday, as the Potters marched to a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium.

N’Zonzi took one shot, had a pass accuracy of 82%, put in three crosses, won 50% of his tackles and made two clearances, leading Smith to claim that he has what Arsenal do not.

“In last weekend’s newspapers Arsenal were linked with three different holding midfielders,” he wrote in The Telegraph. “Everton’s James McCarthy, Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Benfica’s William Carvalho all got a mention.

“Well, here is another one to add to the list. Steven N’Zonzi, enjoying a very good season, was instrumental again in Stoke City’s humbling of Arsenal. One loose pass aside, he showed the strength and determination lacking in the visitors.”

N’Zonzi gave a complete performance in midfield against Arsenal, making it tough for the Gunners and also switching play with ease.

Not one of the big-names in Premier League football, N’Zonzi is unlikely to be on Arsenal’s radar, but his performance for Stoke on Saturday certainly deserves praise.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch