It wasn’t the only good news from the weekend either, with the Mirror reporting that Arsenal are currently in pole position for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans due to Juventus’ interest in the player cooling.
CBS journalist Ben Jacobs tweeted at the end of the transfer window that the Belgian would cost around £30m, however, with his contract expiring at the end of the season, Mikel Arteta will be hoping to snap him up for a reduced fee.
Despite the Spaniard adding the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira to his squad in the summer, he failed to add any real quality to the centre of his midfield.
Tielemans would be an excellent addition, especially when you consider that he is similar to Brazilian star Casemiro according to FBref’s player comparison model.
Indeed, with the success the 30-year-old has had at Real Madrid and now in the Premier League with Manchester United, Arteta will surely be determined to land someone who is comparable.
Their attacking statistics are fairly similar this season, with both averaging over three shot-creating actions per match – Tielemans 3.26 and Casemiro 3.50. Meanwhile, they are equally as keen on contributing with goals and assists wherever possible (3 to 2) proving that they can always offer something going forward.
The Belgian “phenomenon” – as dubbed by former Sweden international Par Zetterberg – just edges the Man United enforcer in terms of passing accuracy (84.7% to 80.1%), however, there isn’t much of a difference as the two like to dictate matches with their composure in the middle of the park.
Even defensively, there isn’t much separating the players when it comes to tackles won (15 to 10), blocks (21 to 14), and interceptions (both with 10 each) which shows that Arteta won’t just be getting an attack-minded player if he lands the 25-year-old, as his defensive attributes can also be highly effective.
Leicester correspondent Jordan Blackwell dubbed the Belgian as a “top performer” in their defeat to Man City last week and there is no doubt he can add something extra to the Arsenal engine room.
Will the manager take a plunge in January? Only time will tell.