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Stats: Will Gabriel Paulista actually improve Arsenal’s backline?

Gabriel Paulista is reportedly on the verge of signing for Arsenal, but looking at the statistics it’s hard to see where he will improve Arsenal’s backline.

The statistics show that Gabriel Paulista doesn’t better Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in eight analysed key areas, so where will he improve Arsenal?

According to BBC Sport, Arsenal have been granted a work permit to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista and hope to conclude the deal in the next couple of days. The 24-year-old is expected to sign from the Spanish club for £15 million and has the backing of manager Arsene Wenger.

However, judging by statistics, it’s hard to see how he will improve on the current two stalwarts of the Gunners defence.



CompetitionTeamTotal Clearance GAMETotal Tackle GAMEInterception GAMEAerial Won GAMEAerial Lost GAMEFouls GAMEGoals Conceded GAMEClean Sheet GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Laurent Koscielny Premier League Arsenal 4.75 1.25 3.5 2.25 2.5 0.67 0.83 0.42 12 1,016
Per Mertesacker Premier League Arsenal 4.71 0.9 2.1 2.67 1.33 0.19 1.14 0.33 21 1,890
Gabriel Paulista La Liga Villarreal 4.5 0.8 3.5 2.5 1.6 0.7 0.89 0.42 19 1,607

According to the Opta statistics, in the eight key areas analysed, the Sao Paulo-born central defender isn’t the outright winner in a single category. However, he is joint-top with Koscielny in interceptions made per game.

In fact, he comes out as the worst in three – clearances, tackles and fouls – of the eight analysed categories and arguably doesn’t have any stand out statistic or main strength to his game. Although, it could be equally said that he may be an all-rounder.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t make for confident reading for Arsenal fans who may have to wait and see whether Arsene Wenger has made the right decision by potentially bringing in the Brazilian stopper.

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