Analysis: Arsenal should steer clear of Manchester United defender Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Manchester United’s Jonny Evans.

According to the latest reports in the Mirror, Arsenal are tracking Manchester United’s £10 million-rated centre-back Jonny Evans as the Gunners seek further defensive additions.

Many Premier League observers suggested that the Gunners needed to bolster their spine in order to mount a serious title challenge, and the acquisition of Petr Cech from Chelsea is a good start.

Now, the club are seemingly open to strengthening the centre-back position, a new central midfielder and a possible striker to provide further competition for Olivier Giroud.

As per the latest reports, Manchester United’s Evans has been mooted as a candidate, although questions will undoubtedly be raised over the Northern Irishman’s ability to make a difference.

  Tackles per GameInterceptions per GameEffective Clearances per GameDef Duel Winners per GameAerial Winners per GameBall Recoveries per GameAccurate Passes per GameAppearances
Jonny Evans 1.57 1.79 5.07 5 1.71 5 50.86 14
Laurent Koscielny 0.85 3.44 5.89 5.15 3.19 7.11 38 27
Per Mertesacker 0.57 2.03 5.54 4.46 3.2 6 45.34 35

According to the table above provided by Opta Stats, the United centre-half comes out as second best when compared to both of the Gunners’ current central defenders.

The partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny may not be the best in the Premier League, but it does cover all the basics well; height, strength, awareness, agility, positioning and movement.

What could Evans possibly add? Well, aside from averaging slightly more tackles and accurate passes per Premier League fixture, not much else over a range of key defensive categories.

The former Sunderland loan star has struggled to establish himself as a first-team player at Old Trafford, making just 14 league appearances for the Red Devils last season.

Louis van Gaal seemingly doesn’t count on his services for the upcoming campaign, and it’s difficult to see how his fortunes would change at the Emirates with Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers in reserve.

Arsene Wenger has spoken at length this summer about only bringing in quality, as reported in the Evening Standard, but surely the French boss could look at the bigger picture and see that there are without doubt better options out there.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch