Arsenal are reportedly in negotiations to sign Ivan Perisic – but how does the Inter winger compare to the players he will be competing for a spot with at the Emirates?
BBC journalist David Ornstein typically broke Arsenal Twitter at the weekend by reporting the club have made an approach to sign Perisic on loan with an option to buy in a £35million deal.
We’ve taken a closer look at Perisic’s stats and compared them to Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who would appear to be his direct rivals for a place in Unai Emery’s side.
Taking into account just league performances in 2018-19, Perisic ranks second among the quartet for both goals and assists.
Only Mkhitaryan has scored more than his three goals, with four, while only Iwobi has provided more than his two assists, with four.
However, when taking into account the game time each player has been given, Perisic is actually the least prolific of the four players, providing a goal or assist every 262.8 minutes.
Ozil’s three goals and one assist have come at a similar rate of one every 242.25 minutes, but Iwobi and Mkhitaryan lead the way.
Iwobi has scored twice and created four goals at one every 189 minutes, while Mkhitaryan’s four goals and one assist have come at one every 168.2 minutes.
Do you still remember?
Ivan Perisic scored his first ever Champions League goal on 13 September 2011 against Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/VOCFX52zas
— Ema Ralte (@Ema_Ralte) January 29, 2019
Despite recording the joint-fewest assists, Ozil remains the most creative of the quartet, averaging 2.1 chances created per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season.
Perisic is tied in second with Mkhitaryan with 1.7, while Iwobi averages 1.4.
Ozil is also the tidiest passer, with his pass success rate of 87.3% leading the way ahead of Mkhitaryan (79%), Iwobi (75.5%) and Perisic (71.9%).
It is interesting to note that as well as Perisic and Mkhitaryan creating the same amount of chances, they also have similar dribbling and shooting statistics.
Both players average 0.9 successful dribbles per 90 minutes, although Perisic has a better success rate (47.4% vs 34.6%). Ozil completes slightly more with one per 90 minutes (at a 62.5% success rate), while Iwobi ranks highest with 2.4 at 54.5%.
And the former Dortmund duo are also tied on 0.7 shots per target per 90 minutes at a similar accuracy (Perisic’s 20.6% vs Mkhitaryan’s 21.9%).
Those figures are the highest among the four players, with Iwobi averaging slightly fewer shots on target with 0.6 per 90 minutes, albeit at a higher accuracy of 42.9%.
Morning. Here’s a video of Perisic making defenders fall over, pic.twitter.com/ZT3oMsuoWY
— Aido (@HandofEmery) January 28, 2019
Ozil has fallen out of favour under Unai Emery having been deemed too much of a luxury player, and the stats back that assertion up.
The Germany international completed 0.7 tackles per 90 minutes, and 0.1 interceptions, the lowest figures among the four players.
It may also explain why a player like Perisic appeals to Emery, with the winger averaging 0.9 tackles and 0.7 interceptions.
Mkhitaryan leads the way with 1.9 tackles and 0.9 interceptions, while Iwobi averages more tackles that Perisic (1.1) but fewer interceptions (0.5).