If you’re an Arsenal or a Chelsea fan, chances are you’ve been almost unable to negotiate your way through the internet or a newspaper without catching glimpses of a pink-clad Argentinian who goes by the name of Paulo Dybala. The Palermo ace has emerged as a target for both the Gunners and the Blues in recent times, with his 12 Serie A goals having eased his route to becoming one of European football’s most prized assets.
Valued at around £30m, Dybala must be pretty special, right? Yes. The 21-year-old has enjoyed an excellent season in Italy’s top tier, easing through the transition from Serie B to A to help his side into a solid midtable position. In truth, Palermo were a little too good for the second tier and do really belong in the big time, but that should take nothing away from Dybala’s showings.
Although comparing stats between leagues and for clubs with very different aspirations can only tell us so much, Dybala’s numbers do rank among Chelsea and Arsenal’s key forward players. While the Argentine trails Olivier Giroud and Diego Costa – their clubs’ main men – in terms of total output, his numbers are far superior to those of Loic Remy and Danny Welbeck, and not too far away from the big boys. It’s, however, chances created and assists where Dybala comes into his own, with the youngster having laid on almost as many on his own in league action as the quartet have altogether. He is also more impressive in terms of take-ons, completing 69.
Paulo Dybala, Palermo. Would not pay £40M for him, but he’s very talented. pic.twitter.com/xVQqKxi69x
— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) March 23, 2015
The stats can only tell us so much, and Dybala’s playing style is hard to sum up in terms of figures. So here is a cli of him in action this season…
Worth the fuss then? Arsenal would perhaps be the better fit for Dybala, with his ability to function from wide liable to be put to better use by Arsene Wenger, while his lack of physical presence is unlikely to go down too well with Jose Mourinho. The Chelsea boss also opts against squad rotation for the most part, while at the Emirates Stadium, Giroud’s hot and cold form could open up more chances for minutes.