Analysis: Arsenal-linked Kostas Manolas betters Per Mertesacker in five key areas

Kostas Manolas at AEK Athens

Arsenal have been linked with a move for AS Roma centre-back Kostas Manolas.

As per an article in The Daily Star, Arsenal are stepping up their interest in AS Roma centre-back Kostas Manolas as manager Arsene Wenger seeks to boost his back-line this summer.

Following the acquisition of goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea, the Gunners now have scope to add further additions to their spine of the team, starting with a top quality centre-back.

A report in The Mirror on Saturday suggested that they were tracking Manchester United’s Jonny Evans, but the club arguably need to be aiming much higher if they want to improve the first-team.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker currently hold a strong understanding in the heart of Arsenal’s defence, but could the latest linked defender improve that area?

  TeamTackls per GaeInterceptions per GameEffective Clearances per GameHeaders won per GameOutfield Blocks per GameAccurate Passes per GamePass Success %Appearances
Per Mertesacker Arsenal 0.57 2.03 5.54 3.2 0.63 45.34 89.2% 35
Kostas Manolas Roma 1.9 2.5 5.9 2.4 0.8 42.6 90.9% 30

Well, as per the table above, AS Roma’s Greek international Manolas boasts a better statistical record than Mertesacker as he outdoes the German international in as many as five key defensive areas.

The Serie A star represented his club 30 times in the league last season, averaging 0.8 blocks, 1.9 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 5.9 clearances per fixture – all bettering the German World Cup winner.

Moreover, Manolas is shown to be extremely comfortable in possession, illustrated by his 90.9% pass success rate. It’s a trait which is undeniably important at the Emirates Stadium.

The North London outfit also have Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista in reserve so they’re not short on options, but if the right opportunity comes along, there is scope for improvement.

Roma’s star centre-back only joined the club last summer and was later voted their best buy of the campaign. A strong-tackler and good on the ball, the 24-year-old has all the tools needed to excel.

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