Arsenal might have signed Rob Holding for their defence this season but the former Bolton defender isn’t the answer to providing the Gunners with quality cover for the entire season. The Premier League club need someone who has a lot of experience in playing big games and can actually fight for a place in the starting XI and put some pressure on the established central defenders at the club.
The Gunners could still sign a few players before the transfer window ends and the side have been linked with moves for Shkodran Mustafi and Fabian Schar. While Mustafi has been one of the better players for Valencia in La Liga, Schar has been a rock for the Swiss team and has been a pretty solid player since joining Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
The Premier League side will probably look to bolster the defence at some point but just which player should they move for?
A German rock vs a Swiss boulder
We would be using stats from Squawka.com and only look at the 90-minute metrics for each player. While Valencia did not have the best season last season, Mustafi did have a decent set of games in La Liga and averaged a pass competition percentage of 81% which is just slightly better than the 24-year-old Schar, who came in with a 79% pass completion rate.
The German was also better than Schar in the tackling aspect as the 24-year-old Mustafi averaged 1.71 successful tackles per 90 minutes compared to just 1.03 for Schar. When it comes to winning aerial battles it was Mustafi again who led with 2.92 aerial duels wins compared to just 1.97 for Schar.
In fact, the Valencia defender also won more of his aerial duels with a 72.5% of winning compared to just 51.6% for Hoffenheim’s Schar.
Mustafi seems to be better at almost everything when compared with Schar as the German intercepted the ball 4.46 times per 90 minutes compared to just 2.64 for Schar last season, the anticipation of where the ball could be played is what can be the difference between a good defender and a world class one.
The German defender also averaged 5.64 clearances per 90 minutes while Schar was just slightly behind with 5.22. The only aspect of defender where Schar actually beat Mustafi was in blocks and that too was marginal.
If Arsenal are looking to sign a defender between the pair, the best option is to move for the Valencia man. He has the stats to prove he is better than Schar and he could well be a smart signing if the Gunners can pull it off.