How does Neves fair up against Bissouma?
Moving on can be difficult sometimes, be it life or football. The Saturday evening news of Aston Villa beating Arsenal to the signature of Emi Buendia was disappointing, to say the least.
But this is the world we live in. Clubs are going to miss out on their long and short-term targets. History has told us that if the club gets it right the second time, the mistake they made the first time can be quickly forgotten.
Arsenal have no choice but to tread that path after missing out on Emi Buendia and Martin Ødegaard, who looks set to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Gunners are strongly interested in Bissouma and Neves and can make a move for either one of them in the coming weeks. In this article we look at how they fair up against each other.
Starting with the attacking output, Neves is clear of his Brighton counterpart. The Portuguese averaged 0.17 goals per 90 while Bissouma’s figure was 0.03 last season. However, it is worth pointing out that Neves has been a regular penalty taker for Wolves.
He is pretty clinical too, having missed just a single penalty in his entire career.
The metric of Shots on Target gives us more depth in our attacking analysis of the duo. The Portugal international averaged 0.47 shots in a match while the Malian averaged a lowly 0.09.
With the acquisition of Neves, Arsenal can strengthen their freekick options as the Wolves man’s 0.32 figure of Shots from Freekicks, is quite an exceptional number for a defensive midfielder.
The former Porto man also boasts more involvement in the game, a role which has been similar to Granit Xhaka’s at Arsenal. Neves completes 52.68 passes per 90 while Bissouma stands at 40.75.
Some section of the Arsenal supporters have an image of Neves possessing a restricted range of passing than Xhaka. But that is certainly not the case.
Although the Swiss attempts more ‘short’ and ‘medium’ ranges passes, the Portuguese is the player who completed more ‘long range’ passes between the duo in the last campaign.
The Wolves midfielder completed 13.66 long passes while Xhaka was slightly behind at 11.06.
This can help Mikel Arteta’s squad in transitioning quickly from defense into attack, a trait which was clearly not seen much often last season. Bissouma’s passing number in all three categories of short, medium and long was nowhere near Xhaka and more importantly Neves.
It is the defensive side of the place where both appear to be somewhat equivalent. Bissouma won 2.14 tackles per 90 last season, while his counterpart’s figure was 2.22. The figure of Interceptions/ Clearances between Bissouma and Neves was 1.74,1.94 / 1.55,1.82.
Not a huge gap of any sorts.
After coming across this data, you might wonder what is the hype that the Arsenal fans are manifesting around Bissouma?
Well, it might be all down to dribbling. The Brighton star’s figure of Dribbles Completed and Total Carrying Distance was an impressive 1.45/ 258.66 (yards). While Neves’ figures were at 0.40/ 204.16. Bissouma also carried the ball into the final third more times than the Portuguese.
Bissouma also has a greater aerial presence than Neves. But the Portuguese man is a more rounded player than Bissouma and as well as Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.
His package appears to be more complete than the duo.
Neves is also considered to be a dressing room voice (he was made the captain of Porto at the age of 18), which can help the team in making a smooth transition from the expected departure of Xhaka.
Who do you guys think Arsenal should prefer? Although stats don’t tell the whole picture, Ruben Neves can be as a solid addition at the Emirates Stadium next season as Yves Bissouma.