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Stats show Schalke's Benedikt Howedes would be a major upgrade for Arsenal

Schalke's Benedikt Howedes has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent days, here we assess the German's credentials.

According to The Daily Mail, Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Schalke centre-back Benedikt Howedes, with Arsene Wenger's sights set on a deal for the German international when the window re-opens in the new year.

Representatives were in attendance for the Bundesliga outfit's 4-0 win over Stuttgart last week, during which the versatile German, who is seen as the perfect solution to the club's current defensive crisis, impressed.

Reports suggest the 26-year-old is favoured thanks to his ability to play at left-back, which is where he has figured for Germany at international level.

Having made 11 domestic appearances this term, he has emerged as Schalke's most consistent performer in defence. For the side sitting in fifth place in the Bundesliga, he has been imperious. 

  TeamPass Acc (%)Intercept/ AppBlock/ AppClear/ AppTackle/ AppAerial/ AppError/ AppAppsMins
Benedikt Höwedes Schalke 86 3 0.91 4.55 1.45 2.91 0 11 990
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal 90 4 0.5 4.13 1 1.75 0 8 656
Per Mertesacker Arsenal 89 2.27 0.47 4.4 0.33 2.87 0.07 15 1,350

Howedes has averaged more tackles, successful aerial duels, clearances and blocks than both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker this term. Meanwhile, in terms of interceptions made, he is only bettered by Koscielny.

His passing ability is inferior, however, having averaged an 86% success rate throughout the season. Nevertheless, a player of his ability would have no trouble adapting to the Gunners' possession-based style of play.

Wenger may only be looking for cover for his hard-hit back-four, but Howedes would expect to start regularly if he made the switch to the Emirates.

With two years left on his contract, the Bundesliga club are understandably reluctant to sell one of their star assets. While, valued at around £15 million, he would represent a substantial outlay for the North London outfit. 

Nevertheless, with Wenger expressing his desire to bring in a defender come January, Howedes could soon fulfill his dream of becoming a Premier League player. 

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