Coquelin vs Xhaka: Who should start in the Arsenal midfield?

Francis Coquelin v Granit Xhaka: Head to Head: : 20161008

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a big choice to make in the centre of his midfield.

Francis Coquelin v Granit Xhaka: Head to Head: : 20161008

After bringing in Granit Xhaka in the summer transfer window, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a big decision to make in the centre of his midfield.

The Swiss international has become a firm fan favourite among the Gunners faithful, who have taken well to his tough-tackling all-action style.

If he is to play, though, it means that another favourite, Francis Coquelin, will have to drop out of the team.

That is harsh on the Frenchman, who has been a star player in the first team after breaking through from the club’s youth ranks.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka

So far Wenger has alternated between the two in their games, with both partnering Santi Cazorla at various times.

But who should be the long-term partner for the Spaniard? We took a look at the stats to see if they provided an answer.

As it turns out, even that analysis has not made Wenger's decision any easier, as though Xhaka comes out on top in five of the eight key areas so far this season, the two stars were very close in most categories.

So far he has won the ball in the midfield third more times per game and posted more ball recoveries per game than the Frenchman.

Arsenal's Francis Coquelin in action with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson

Interestingly, though, Coquelin has registered more won tackles per game and more won interceptions per game than the Switzerland international.

He has also played more accurate passes per game, 49 compared to 44, while he is slightly better for key passes per game.

Xhaka has also managed one more touch per game than his midfield rival, although Coquelin has fewer unsuccessful touches per game.

A win for Xhaka but the closeness in the stats shows just how difficult a decision that Wenger has on his hands.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka celebrates scoring their fourth goal

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch