Stats: Three ideal defensive-midfield signings for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger

The past few months have played host to one of the most exciting transfer windows for Arsenal in recent memory.

Much unlike previous years, manager Arsene Wenger has acted with efficiency to secure the signatures of a number of talented players.

The Gunners head coach has shown no signs of putting down the club’s cheque book, with speculation suggesting that he is on the look-out for a new central-defensive midfielder

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are not getting any younger and Wenger is likely to be evaluating his options ahead of the new season.

With the club in a spending mood, the Frenchman could utilise this momentum to bring in further reinforcements before the transfer window draws to a close. 

Here are three players who would prove affordable, yet well suited, to solve the club’s current requirements.

Adrien Rabiot

Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot is one of many defensive-midfielders who has been linked with a switch to the Emirates this summer. The 19-year-old is currently one of the hottest prospects plying his trade in the French top flight.

According to reports, the capital outfit are actively considering the option of selling Rabiot, following the club’s failure to convince the youngster to sign a new contract. His current deal expires in 2015, which means he will soon be available on a free transfer, and with PSG running the risk of selling him for nothing, the Gunners could snap him for a very low price.

In many ways, the Frenchman is the perfect option for Wenger. With Flamini’s contract also expiring at the end of the current season, he could be the perfect understudy to his veteran compatriot.

  TeamPosPass Succ (%) Tackle per 90Intercept per 90Clear per 90Block per 90AppsMins
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 92 2.65 2.36 2.06 0.26 31 2,407
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 91 1.40 2.19 3.20 0.62 27 1,604
Adrien Rabiot Paris Saint-Germain MF 90 2.74 2.21 1.45 0.38 25 1,183

Rabiot’s biggest strengths lie in his passing ability and brilliant movement, while he is an extremely intelligent individual. Over two seasons for PSG, he has completed 937 of 1,038 passes (90.3% pass-completion) in Ligue 1, so he would be a dependable player in Arsenal’s refined system.

His accumulative ball-winning statistics see him emerge as a superior option to Wenger’s current defensive midfield options. He has offered a fantastic level of protection to the PSG back-four and this will have been noted by the Arsenal head coach.

William Carvalho

Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho is another talented youngster who is likely to have caught Wenger’s eye, and according to the Metro, the Portuguese outfit are desperate to move on their prized-asset in order to raise cash for other deals.

The 22-year-old is coming off remarkable season for Sporting, in which he played an integral role in the club’s challenge for the Primeira Liga title - he amassed an astonishing four Player of the Month awards throughout the campaign.

He displays excellent composure on the ball, whilst offering an imposing physical presence. He is adept at breaking up opposition advances and recovering possession, before orchestrating attacking moves for his own side.

With Carvalho slotting into the Arsenal midfield, alongside Aaron Ramsey, the club would have a midfield partnership capable of dominating for several years. With the Portuguese international focusing predominantly on defensive duties, Ramsey could push forward, safe in the knowledge that the back-four had maximum protection.

  TeamPosTackle /AppIntercept /AppClear /AppChances CreatedAppsMins
William Carvalho Portugal MF 3.50 1.00 1.50 1 2 135

Carvalho only made two appearances at the World Cup, as a second-half substitute against the United States and a full 90-minute turn against Ghana, but he impressed nonetheless. He averaged three defensive actions in each match, despite his bit-part role, while completing 90% of his attempted passes.

Cheick Tiote

Rumours linking Cheick Tiote with Arsenal may be dismissed by some as pure speculation, but the 28-year-old would genuinely be a very good signing for the North London outfit. He would certainly add bite to the club’s central-midfield.

Perhaps not as good as the aforementioned players, but the Ivorian would be a significantly cheaper option - according to reports, he could be available for as little as £8 million.

He barely featured for his club during pre-season, starting only one game against Sheffield Wednesday, and he missed the Toon's Premier League opener against Manchester City on the weekend. The summer arrival of former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has only served to cast further doubt over his future.

  TeamPosPass /AppPass Acc (%)Tackle /AppIntercept Won /AppClear /AppBlock /AppAppsMins
Cheick Tioté Newcastle MF 63.45 87.11 2.09 1.94 2.15 0.39 33 2,764

Tiote is a man to dominate the middle of the park, allowing the more creative players around him to thrive. After all, he won 70 tackles last season, averaging five defensive actions per appearance. His ability to protect the back-four would allow the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla that little bit of extra freedom to push forward.

Whilst not a world class option, Tiote would be an effective addition to Arsene Wenger’s side.

Arsenal fans, would you like to see any of the aforementioned players at the Emirates this season?

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