One Player from Each Euro 2020 Semi-Finalists’ Squads Arsenal Should Target by Cameron E-B
Major tournaments are often viewed as opportune scouting grounds for us fans. Therefore, with the Euros semi-finals soon upon us, it is time to consider who to focus on in these crucial matches.
Each player discussed have been previously linked (no matter how tentatively) and would bring attributes required to this Arsenal squad. Statistics provided by fbref.com.
Joakim Mæhle (24, Denmark)
It is well reported that Arsenal are on the hunt for a right back this summer. Euro 2020 has highlighted a number of talented players in the position. Di Lorenzo from Italy and the exciting Denzel Dumfries, Netherlands, have impressed. However, arguably the right back of the tournament has been Joakim Mæhle from Denmark. The Dane has had a breakout tournament, ranking third in the squad for expected goals and assists per 90, 1.8 (2G, 1A). Who can forget that superb assist against the Czech Republic.
Mæhle can pass well also, being second in the squad for progressive passes and completed passes into the box. However, the primary job for right back is to defend. Although his strengths may lie in going forward, his defensive numbers back-up the hype around him. Once again, the Atlanta player came second in the Danish squad for blocks, interceptions and successful pressures. One to certainly look out for.
Mikel Oyarzabal (24, Spain)
Now I have to be honest, there were not many Spanish players jumping out at me (other than the highly unrealistic Pedri) but one who I would happily see at Arsenal would be Real Sociedad’s Oyarzabal. He has transferred some of his excellent form in last season’s La Liga (11 goals and 8 assists) to the Euro 2020 tournament.
Most notably, he has produced 11.94 shot creating actions per 90, the next best in the Spanish squad being the supremely talented Pedri with 4.43. Moreover, he was top in the squad for shots per 90 (6.43) and was second for goals and assists per 90 (0.92).
Admittedly, most of Oyarzabal’s statistics have come from off the bench. Hopefully we may get a better look at him in Spain’s semi-final against Italy.
Manuel Locatelli (23, Italy)
You would have had to have been living under a rock to have not seen the links with Locatelli. The majority agree he would be an excellent signing, but how good has he been?
Locatelli has looked very composed on the ball, completing 89.7% of his passes in the tournament and producing 2.55 shot creating actions per match. In a side which prides itself on its defending Locatelli has proven he can hold his own, with 7 tackles in his few games. However, the greatest surprise has been his form in front of goal. 0.85 goal and assists per 90 has him ahead of the likes of Ciro Immobile and Romelu Lukaku, to name just a few.
Clearly a player who, on the form shown in this tournament would be excellent at the Emirates.
Raheem Sterling (26, England)
Arguably England’s player of the tournament so far, Raheem Sterling has proven his doubters wrong. Sterling has improved upon his 0.60 G+A per 90, which he achieved for Manchester City this season, to 0.90 in the Euros. That includes 3 goals and 1 assist. 2 of which being winning goals against Croatia and the Czech Republic.
Additionally, he has been a creating force in the team, which has been sorely needed at times. Producing 10 shot creating actions, the most in the squad.
Although it would be a shock to see him line-up for Arsenal next season, there were links with Sterling due to City needing to shift some high-profile players to fund any Kane or Grealish deal.
Would you be keen to see any of these players at the Emirates next season?
By Cameron Emanuel-Burns (@camemanuelburns)