Posted on December 19, 2017 by ADMIN

Which midfielder is the best fit for Arsenal to replace Granit Xhaka’s mistakes?

Online betting site BetStars has carried out statistical research to identify the position the Premier League’s top clubs are weakest in, and the player they should subsequently target in the January transfer window.

Arsenal have been in need of a top quality defensive midfielder for a number of years, with players such as Francis Coquelin and more recently Granit Xhaka failing to excel at the Emirates. Research shows that Arsenal have made 34 defensive mistakes leading to chances since the start of last season, more than any other of the so-called ‘top six’ clubs.

A transfer matching system, which applies a statistical algorithm to extensive match performance data, has determined which defensive midfielders the Gunners could look to recruit to replace their current incumbents.

Roma’s Radja Nainggolan tops the list of potential candidates, achieving a stunning 83.9% transfer match based on a number of factors, including the number of defensive errors leading to a chance (per 90 minutes) alongside other indicators such as their age relative to the peak playing age for that position, the relative status of their club and percentage of possible league minutes played.

The Belgian is priced at 4/1 with BetStars to join the Gunners in January, alongside Morgan Sanson of Marseille, however he achieved a lower transfer rating than Nainggolan at 76.8%.

Dani Parejo, Jordan Veretout and Koke made up the top five candidates based on the research, all of whom achieved transfer percentage ratings in the low 70s. Parejo is at 6/1 to leave Valencia for Arsenal in the transfer window, followed by Veretout at 7/1 and finally Koke at 8/1, putting these three targets behind Sanson and Nainggolan on both likelihood of transfer and suitability.

Arsenal January transfer targets

Radja Nainggolan (Roma) 4/1

Morgan Sanson (Marseille) 4/1

Dani Parejo (Valencia) 6/1

Jordan Veretout (Fiorentina) 7/1

Koke (Atletico Madrid) 8/1

We have already been linked with Steven N’Zonzi and Leon Goretzka. but who you think we should get?

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41 thoughts on “Which midfielder is the best fit for Arsenal to replace Granit Xhaka’s mistakes?

    1. Break-on-through

      I like the Goretzka and Fabiho idea, two competitors with different enough strengths aldo Fabiho does go forward and score goals also. But he’s good at sitting back too, and Goretzka could easily sit back when Fabiho wants to try his luck. Good passers, not Santi type but their aren’t many scrappers in mold of Santi.

      This debate about De Bruyne being better than Bergkamp, it’s a different time, rules have changed to accommodate the forwards. Not nearly as much protection back in D’s day. The game is more open, and the running battles back then, half of today’s players wouldn’t have coped. Sure De Bruyne couldn’t stick to a Mourinho strict regime, he might have been bullied back to Holland/Belgium/Span. If Bergkamp where in today’s game, he’d be the leagues crowning glory, poetry in motion never more suited in describing this one player. He’d be leading the assists charts due to speed of the game and he’d be scoring some of the mostly fantastic goals ever seen, De Bruyne is very good but come on, sometimes how a player does thing shows you just how gifted a mind he is, De Bruyne doesn’t come anywhere close as an artist. And as for who is best more lethal, times rules are too different to compare, like I said, they are prob so different that De Bruyne would not cut it back then, and so different that everything would be oh so easy for a true master of insight, foresight and hindsight.

      1. jon fox

        Why worry about making comparoisons between two great players from different times. People on here, being mainly Gooners will of course prefer Dennis, as I also do . But though of interest to compare and we all do it often, there is never a definitive answer nor can there ever be when it is a matter of opinion. For instance, I personally consider Walcott the WORST ever buy for Arsenal -not the worst player, by a long shot – but the worst buy, since he has wasted his twelve years career here mostly idling and cost untold millions in unearned wages that could have been used to better effect and taken up a place in the eleven, stopping someone better from playing instead. But, though I constantly call for Walcott to be sold, even til my fingers and eyes ache from typing, still some(a small number admittedly) do not agree. All are entitled to their opinions, even when they are WRONG! In any case, De Bruyne is now only the very age Bergkamp was when he signed for us.

        1. Kenny Rolfe

          De Bruyne, excellent player, but still not in the class of Dennis Bergkamp, without doubt the greatest Premier League player of all time

  1. shark

    It seems like Xhaka will play as long as Wenger will be in charge. There is no need to speak about new players because we all know that it is not going to happen.

  2. arie82

    as far i remember, xhaka is a cm.
    he is replacement for santi, but somehow, wenger eliminate the rule of dm in his new formation.
    if y see how santi playing, he is deep lying playmaker who not tacle or defending a lot, since there a dm aka coqelin who covering.
    now xhaka is dpl also a dm, since his whoever patners is missing to attaking.
    just add a dm player alongside xhaka, or kick out the rule dlp, put xhaka in cm position

    1. Quantic Dream

      You remember since when? Because what I remember is since Xhaka joined Arsenal he has been collecting cards and conceding fouls all over the pitch. He has been getting caught out in possession just in front of the back 4 and the only thing that he has done resembling some sort of play making is long crosses to the wingers and flankers implying he does not want to go forward. Given that he is never anywhere in the box like Ramsey or Wilshere we can safely rule him out from being a box to box sorta midfielder or CM. I can only conclude he is a DM who is really poor at his job and not even worth a quarter of the very generous fee Wenger forked out for him.

      1. shark

        Well done said! A DM who do not know how to tackle, looses the ball very often in every part of the field, not offering protection to the CBs, not covering the full backs when they are in attack and we are caught on the counter. He even lost his only ability to shoot from distance. Everyone sees that except Wenger who keeps playing him.

      2. arie82

        he “was” a cm when playing in bundesliga, knowing for his passing and long shot, never heard for his tackling or defending, since he is not dm or dlp.
        wenger give him job as dlp (not dm) like santi did, but without dm as patner, since wenger doesnt use dm anymore.
        remember, what wenger want when xhaka come to arsenal?, how to tackle!

      3. Skills1000

        I agree with you 100%. I think wenger should also go back to a 442 formation.

        Monreal Kos Mustafi Debuchy
        Mahrez Nzonzi Xhaka Ozil
        Lacazette Giroud
        Sell Sanchez. buy Mahrez and Nzonzi

        Ramsey, Wilshere, Iwobi to rotate with Mahrez and Ozil.

        Xhaka is not a proper DM. We need to sign a very mobile DM in January.
        Xhaka as a deep lying Playmaker playing closely to Nzonzi.
        Lacazette and Giroud in the box. More quality crosses from Mahrez and Ozil.

        Mahrez has a lot of tricks and can also take on defenders. He plays quality crosses as well.

      4. jon fox

        You and the vast majority of us all know Wenger signed a massive dud in Xhaka , but from the two other fantasists on this thread, there are still some out there who just do not use their eyes. Anyone who really thinks Xhaka is top Prem quality needs serious help. With their brain!

        1. Lance

          Jon Fox. You always complain when people resort to insults in making their arguments. I think you do the same. When you say someone should have their brain examined because they disagree with your opinion or assessment of a player, then you are being insulting and rude.

          1. jon fox

            How very inconsistent and also how human of me! But you make a fair point all the same. Some of the nonsense on this site, eg people who still make excuses for Wenger and/or Walcott is enough to make a saint cross. Not that I am a saint- as you rightly have noticed – and thus, duly admonished, I will think deeply about your accurate comment.

  3. Robin Vanpayslip

    Wenger said he was going to be a box to box midfielder and then played him as a deep lying play maker. I’m not surprised he has lost form and is confused on what he is supposed to be doing

  4. Arsenal4Life

    We should go for Housseme Auoar from Lyon.
    CVM Coquelin Xhaka and get Fabinho (Niles)
    CM Wilshere and get Auoar and Goretzka
    CAM Ozil Iwobi (Adelaide/Wilshere)

    Sell El Neny and Ramsey

      1. rkw

        with iwobi and bellerin or at least former on loan to Brentford or similar … Mustafi out … walcott to china … ambivalent about welbeck and giroud …ok for the bench … but our first xi is a perennial 4th place competitor which might make kris n chips and postman pat happy but not true fans

  5. Break-on-through

    I highly doubt we will pay or would pay 30m for Nzonzi, Seville paid 8m for him and he is still the same player only older, so whoever came up with that ridiculous price hasn’t got a clue. Also Arsene will look inwards first if he is thinking about Xhaka as being a problem, the formation change might have been brought about to accommodate Xhaka in the first place. Niles will be given a shot, maybe Beilik, Sheaf will be looked at, and Coquelin or Wilshere depending on how Arsene sees Xhaka’s needs for the team. Or else Arsene will keep turning a blind eye to the warning signs like v newc, and not blame one player for the cumulative of mistakes even if it is seeming to be mostly one player being regular as clock-work.

  6. gooner4life

    Turning two blind eyes if you ask me. Arsene will never admit he has made mistakes in some of the players he has brought to the club,or he plays players out of position and he plays players who are not performing to their best but they are his favourites so he wont see the need to get better players in as he always says “we have enough quality in the squad”.

  7. Ray

    Xhaka is a liability, an accident waiting to happen!

    I honestly thought he would work out well and even score some great goals along the way? Some of those 30 yard shots he was supposed to be great at. How wrong I was!

    We’re seriously lacking in quality in the middle now with silly errors costing us expensive points. Wayward passing and ineffective offensive play is killing us and Xhaka is at the heart of it!

    It wouldn’t take much to improve that position but I doubt Arsene is even looking at strengthening in that area any time soon!!


  8. satanK

    Arsenal squad players would do, that’s how horrible he is.
    I’d sell him in January for two tins of smoked mackerel.

  9. shark

    In Feb we will near a nice excuse for not signing a DM/CM. Remember Lemar excuse? “Monaco already sold Silva, Bakayoko and Mendy so they do not want to lose any important player.” My God, the deluded even stayed a few days in Monte Carlo and we were so naive to think that he is there for Mbappe and Lemar :))

    1. Maks

      You think Wenger knew what he was doing there? Im not sure anymore. It looks to me that he went to Monaco, took a walk arond the stadium but never showed up on the meeting if anything was even sceduled. 🙁

  10. Sunny

    Basically players do not want to join Wenger any more. Not only they are not going to win anything with Wenger. They also will not improve but rather degrade and may need to play out of position. May be injured or not getting enough play tome etc.
    He is a Joke

  11. shark

    If we get rid of “We have enough depth in the squad / Clubs don’t want to sell / We didn’t find quality in the market / I am against January transfer period / Players don’t want to switch clubs in January / It’s hard to transfer before the World Cup / *&^%$ is like a new signing”, we will get our wanted players.

  12. Segun

    Granit Xhaka is a deep lying play maker and that’s why he was brought in, not as the “beastly DM” some fans clamoured for. Arsene Wenger doesn’t favour a natural DM role for his current preferred playing style, the reason Coquelin gets less game time. Knowledgeable coaches like Ottmar Hitzfeld have likened him to Schweinsteger and even Alonso, in the past. He is prone to a few errors but fans need to watch what he does for the team, a bit more fairly, methinks.

    1. shark

      Hitzfeld was knowledgeable, Wenger is not. He just likes to copy (Pep’s tiki-taka, Conte’s 3-man defense etc). BTW, Xhaka prone to a few errors? :)))

      1. Segun

        Yet Wenger is respected in world football circles; so much that the English FA were prepared to give only him the job of England manager (been trying to do this for years too). Maybe you should read what Hitzfeld has to say about Wenger.

        Yes, few errors. Everyone has them, in them. Are you faultless/perfect? Problem is you focus on the negatives too much. I watch Xhaka’s positioning and his forward passing and I see that his team mates trust him. I think he’s a strong character too, seeing as a weaker human will turn to putty reading what “fans” write/think about him? No one wonders why the manager won’t drop him.

          1. Segun

            So long as all 60000 are willing to admit they don’t work with the players daily are not more knowledgeable than Arsene Wenger.

            1. Ivan

              @Segun you are talking about the Wenger reputation of 15 years ago. When was the last time anybody said they wanted him? There was some talk about PSG in the summer but that wa not serious in any shape or form.
              Nowadays at best football people talk about what he used to be 15 years ago and at worst they highlight his failings (tactical knowledge, inability to motivate, outdated coaching and wonky transfer record), which are many.

  13. jon fox

    Surely the first question to ask is this: Does anyone seriously think Wenger will give up on the mistake ridden, immobile Xhaka after just 18 months? Walcott is still here after twelve years to provide the answer to that one. All talk of who we WOULD like is purely academic, while old fossil face remains manager AND CHAINED TO THE DISTANT PAST.

    1. Ivan

      You are right Jon. You can’t accuses Wenger of making rash decisions. He is the Field Marshall Douglas Haig of football.

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