Evans v Mertesacker: Is the West Brom defender a suitable signing for Arsenal?

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker comes off injured

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the central defender after Mertesacker's injury in pre-season.

West Brom's Jonny Evans in action with Watford's Odion Ighalo

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are considering a move for West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans.

The Gunners are in the midst of a defensive crisis heading into the new season after Per Mertesacker picked up a long-term injury in pre-season.

The issue worsened on Sunday as Gabriel Paulista picked up a nasty looking injury in the win over Manchester City.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker and Tottenham's Dele Alli in action

It leaves the Gunners without a senior centre half for the beginning of the Premier League season, with Laurent Koscielny also a doubt after an extended holiday following Euro 2016.

The links to Evans have surprised many, but would he represent an improvement on Mertesacker? We decided to compare their stats from last season to find out. 

  TeamSeasonPassing AccuracyWon Tackle per GameInterception Won per GameBall Recoveries per GameAerial Won per GameOutfielder Block per GameEffective Clearances per GameDuel Won per gameAppearances
Per Mertesacker Arsenal 2015-2016 89% 1 1.5 5.79 2.25 0.42 3.96 3.67 24
Jonny Evans West Brom 2015-2016 75% 1.77 3.03 6.3 1.8 0.93 2.97 5.77 30

And interestingly, the West Brom man came out on top in five of the eight areas that we looked at.

On a per game basis he won more tackles, interceptions and posted more ball recoveries than the German international last year. 

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe shoots wide under pressure from Arsenal's Per Mertesacker

He also registered more blocks and won more defensive duels although Mertesacker came out on top in terms of aerial duels and effective clearances.

His overall passing success was also better, as he registered a score of 89 per cent compared to Evans’ tally of 75 per cent.

Nonetheless, a win for the West Brom star, who on this evidence would be a smart signing for Arsenal as a potential replacement for the injured Mertesacker.

Bournemouth's Lewis Grabban in action with West Brom's Jonny Evans

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