Arsenal transfers: How do Houssem Aouar and Dominik Szoboszlai compare?

Houssem Aouar

For the first time in Mikel Arteta's Arsenal reign, serious questions are being asked of him and his team. 

With the former midfielder at the helm, the Gunners have transformed themselves into a tricky side to face. They have more organisation and they have figured out a way to play on the road.

A first win at Old Trafford since 2006 and a first win away from home against top-six opposition since 2014 is indicative of that.

However, at the Emirates, they are now struggling. They have failed to beat Leicester and Aston Villa in their last two league outings and long gone are the days of Arsene Wenger and his teams putting their opponents to the sword.

At home, Wenger went all out. He'd pack the side with plenty of creative ingenuity and attacking firepower and more often than not, Arsenal came out on top. 

However, although there is still an ideology behind possession-based football, the London club have moved away from many of the components that made them so successful at the turn of the millennium. 

The swashbuckling football is often lacking, but the defence has been sorted out. Before their clash with Aston Villa, they held the best defensive record in the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta

That was until they suffered a demoralising 3-0 defeat at the hands of Dean Smith's men. Bizarrely, though, their defence barely got a mention.

Instead, it was about the alarming lack of creativity. The Islington-based side have now failed to score a goal from open play in over six hours of league football, and their inability to break down teams who form a low block and sit back has become a real problem.

Arteta hasn't encountered many since he took the job, but this is an obstacle proving difficult to overcome.

What makes matters even more tricky for the Spaniard is that he doesn't have Mesut Ozil at his disposal. The German has been left out of their Premier League and Europea League squads so isn't available at all.

Another midfielder in Joe Willock, meanwhile, continues to be left out. He hasn't played a single league minute this term despite shining in Europe.

Joe Willock

He has scored in two successive Europa League outings and has the energy and creativity to break through a defensive unit.

Why, therefore, is Arteta not using him? Of course, he has inexperience but the 21-year-old has something no other Arsenal midfielder possesses. 

Signing a creative midfielder in January is becoming of utmost importance but who their number one target remains to be seen. Arsenal pulled out of the race to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon in the summer but renowned transfer guru Fabrizio Romano maintains the fact that he'd love a switch to England.

Another option could be RB Salzburg youngster Dominik Szoboszlai.

The 20-year-old has emerged as a target in recent months and this week, it was claimed Szoboszlai's agent had been in talks with the Gunners. 

But who would be the best option? Well, in terms of finances and goal threat it would undoubtedly be the Hungarian. 

Szoboszlai and Aouar comparison

Aouar was estimated to cost around the £44m mark last summer but Szoboszlai is rated at just £22.5m in comparison. 

If the Gunners are looking for a cheaper man to succeed Ozil as their creative hub, then the man on the left of our comparison graphic is who they should be targeting.

Not only does he have more goals and assists this season, but most pivotally, he completed more final third passes than Aouar in 2019/20.

Of course, the Frenchman is playing in a more reputable league, but it's hard to ignore the things Szoboszlai is doing on a football pitch at the tender age of 20.

He is already producing bigger numbers than Willock and has a canny knack of unlocking a stern defence. The attacking midfielder has already scored against Atletico Madrid this season for instance. 

Edu clearly has some decision making to do.

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