Comparing Odegaard, Smith Rowe and Emi Buendia
There is a huge division among Arsenal fans when it comes to who should the club sign as a number 10. Every supporter has their own arguments of why the club should sign Emi Buendia from Norwich City and not Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid and vice versa.
In this article we look at the numbers of Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Emi Buendia to judge what every player can provide to the current Gunners squad.
We will look at Per-90-minutes statistics due to the fact that all of them have not played equal number of games.
It is also worth pointing out that we have adjusted Emi Buendia’s numbers when he was in the Premier League last season, to have a more fair comparison.
Starting with Goals Scored, Emi Buendia’s figures suggest he is the least lethal goalscorer of the three. The Argentine averaged 0.04 goals per 90 minutes while Smith Rowe is first at 0.13 and then Odegaard is at 0.09.
However, Buendia played for a team who were at the bottom of the league for the majority of last campaign.
His argument of being a better goalscorer can be proved by his Expected goals (xG). The Argentine accumulated an xG of 2.2 last season. While ESR has an xG of 2.0 and Odegaard’s is 1.1.
The Norwich man is clearly way better than the duo when it came to expected assists (xA). The 24-year-old’s xA stood at 7.2, while ESR and the Real Madrid loanee’s figures stood at 2.8 and 2.1 respectively.
When it came to the percentage of Shots on Target, ESR sat in first position. The Hale End graduate saw 30.8% of his shots hitting the mark. While Buendia’s figure stood at 27.5 and Odegaard’s number was 18.8. The Norwegian is a player who does not take many shots and thus naturally does not score many. Acquiring him from the Spanish capital might not solve the problem of midfielders not scoring goals for this Arsenal squad.
The Norwegian has occasionally been criticized for slowing down team moves. And the data proves it. He attempts most Short Passes among the three. Buendia’s 6.53 Long Passes per 90 minutes might make Arsenal more unpredictable and direct.
Moving on, Buendia, ESR and Odegaard’s number in Shot Creating Actions is 5.04, 2.30 and 3.63. Thus the fans can expect more direct involvement from the Argentine on their end product than the other two.
Judging how Mikel Arteta demands increased defensive responsibility from his midfielders, signing the Norwich star makes even more sense. Buendia is clearly ahead of the two in terms of Tackles Made per 90 at 3.21. While ESR and Odegaard’s numericals are 0.86 and 0.53.
The Championship player of the year also puts the opponents under pressure more than the duo. That can lead to Arsenal gaining possession in opponent’s half more often.
Signing Buendia will make the London outfit a more direct side. The former Getafe man can take on his man and thus can free up spaces for other players.
The merits of choosing Buendia over Odegaard are many. Not impeding the development of Smith Rowe as a number 10 and being a more economical signing than Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid are just two specimens.
From the data above, we can see a player who has good endurance, technical ability and is also versatile. He can fit perfectly at Arsenal given his earlier experience in the Premier League.
Aston Villa and Sp*rs have already shown interest in the 24-year-old.
Thus, Arsenal can’t take their own time on acquiring a player who has made an astonishing 32 goal involvements in 39 games for the Canaries in the Championship.