Fonte vs Mertesacker: Would the Portugal star be a smart signing for Arsenal?

Per Mertesacker v José Fonte: Head to Head: : 20160816

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Southampton star.

Per Mertesacker v José Fonte: Head to Head: : 20160816

According to ESPN, Arsenal have joined Manchester United in chasing Southampton defender Jose Fonte.

The Gunners are in the midst of a defensive crisis at the beginning of this season after Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista both picked up injuries.

That saw them starting the campaign with Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at centre back for the opening game against Liverpool, a situation that did not work out well.

That has reportedly led to them targeting Fonte, whose Premier League experience would be very welcome in the Gunners back line at this moment in time.

But would he represent an upgrade on Mertesacker? We decided to compare their stats to find out.

Arsenal manager Arsene WengerArsenal manager Arsene Wenger

And as it transpires, the Portugal international had a much better season than the current Arsenal defender as he came out on top in five of the eight areas looked at.

On a per game basis he won more interceptions, more defensive duels and more aerial duels than Mertesacker.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker looks dejected at the end of the matchArsenal's Per Mertesacker looks dejected at the end of the match

He also registered more blocks and more effective clearances than the German managed across last season.

It wasn’t all bad news for Mertesacker though; as he came out on top when it came to tackles won per game and also had a better overall passing accuracy.

A win for Fonte overall however, who on this evidence would be a smart signing for Arsenal this summer.

Jose Fonte celebrates after scoring the third goal for SouthamptonJose Fonte celebrates after scoring the third goal for Southampton

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