Statistics reveal Shkodran Mustafi is an upgrade on Per Mertesacker

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Football News

Arsenal fans are one hell of a fickle bunch. They pine for a big signing all summer and when one finally arrives at their doorstep, they moan that they're overpaying.

To be fair to them, the mass media were adamant that Arsene Wenger could have signed Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia for as little as £25million. The belief is that the German defender will, in fact, cost around £35m, making him the second most expensive signing in their history.

Considering he is not of world-class caliber, Gooners are complaining that Arsenal are being forced to overpay because Wenger dithered for far too long. To put it in context, Bayern Munich paid just £30m to sign Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, and no one is going to argue that Mustafi is better than him.

However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Mustafi is, at least, a massive upgrade on what Arsenal currently have. Per Mertesacker, who is out until the new year with a knee injury anyway, would be the first-choice alongside Laurent Koscielny if he was fit. But Mustafi is set to change that.

An analysis on Sky Sports compared the key stats since the start of the 2014/15 season and revealed that Mustafi was significantly better in all but two measurements, pass completion and aerial challenges. Considering Arsenal play a passing style and Mertesacker has five inches on Mustafi, the former Werder Bremen man essentially wins those by default.

But where the stats matter, his younger compatriot comes up trumps. Most notably, Mustafi has completed more than double the amount of tackles (93 to 44) and interceptions (230 to 108). 

Take a look at the video below:

Deal close

According to Sky Germany, Arsenal could announce Mustafi by the end of play on Saturday after the centre-back completed a medical and put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract. The 24-year-old is likely to be closely followed by striker Lucas Perez, who also underwent a medical on a busy Friday at London Colney.

Arsenal agreed to meet a €20m clause to sign the uncapped Spaniard from Deportivo La Coruna after scouts watched him score 17 goals in 37 games last season.

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Theo Walcott
Germany Football
Per Mertesacker
Premier League
Shkodran Mustafi

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