Comparing Arsenal’s top wing targets from the PL – Stats show Emery must sign £30m speed demon instead of £80m star

Arsenal opinion: Who should the Gunners sign – Zaha or Fraser?

Arsenal have struggled massively with the lack of natural wide players this season. The over-reliance on Alex Iwobi has let the Gunners down at times while Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inconsistency hasn’t helped their cause either.

Unai Emery has tried out his options by pushing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wide, which has worked on multiple occasions but their tendency to drift more centrally has hindered Arsenal’s width this season.

The Gunners’ need for a new winger has been evident this season and there have been reports linking them to two Premier League wingers who have had incredible seasons this term for their respective teams.

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Arsenal are keen on Crystal Palace’s £80m-rated Wilfried Zaha and are willing to table a cash plus player deal to sign him. The Gunners have also been rumoured to be interested in Bournemouth’s £30m-rated Ryan Fraser, who has had an incredible individual season himself.

But who should Arsenal sign? Here’s what the numbers suggest:

Wilfried Zaha has been pivotal for the Eagles this season having scored 10 goals and provided 5 assists in the Premier League. The former Manchester United attacker has won 5 penalties as well this season which has mainly been down to his brilliant pace and trickery inside the box.

Zaha averages 2.1 shots at goal, 1.6 key passes, 3.4 dribbles per game and draws an average 3.8 fouls every game.

The Ivory Coast international also averages 29 passes per game with 77% passing accuracy but his crossing has been a huge letdown, where he averages just 0.3 per game despite playing out wide. (WhoScored)

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Ryan Fraser has been more of a creative threat for the Cherries this season, having scored just 7 goals but has assisted an incredible 14 goals in the Premier League this season.

The Scotsman’s pace and dribbling skills down the line have been hugely effective in Bournemouth’s attack but his vision is something that makes him a special player.

Fraser averages 1.3 shots at goal per game, which is way lesser than Zaha but his key passes per game are much higher, averaging 2.4 per game.

Fraser is dispossessed just 0.7 times per game compared to Zaha’s abysmal 4.2, while the Bournemouth man’s unsuccessful touches are much lower with 1.4 compared to his counterpart’s 3.6.

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Fraser also averages 2 crosses every game – almost 7 times as many as Zaha, which will be a hugely important asset to have in a team like Arsenal who boast of clinical finishers like Lacazette and Aubameyang, who will convert those crosses more often than not. (WhoScored)

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Conclusion

Both Wilfried Zaha and Ryan Fraser are exceptional footballers in their own right but the Scotsman edges past his Palace rival solely due to his style of play.

Fraser’s ability to hold onto the ball a lot more than Zaha suits Unai Emery’s philosophy and Arsenal should prefer him over the Palace man in the summer.

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Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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