Contact Made: Arsenal Could Finally Land the Perfect Xhaka Replacement in Potential £100m Move

Arteta could finally secure the ideal player to fill the void left by the Swiss international.

With only one match left to play, Arsenal remain in contention for this season’s Premier League title. However, much like the previous year, it seems highly likely that Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola’s management, will emerge victorious and lift the trophy by the end of Sunday’s match.

This year, Arsenal, led by Mikel Arteta, have demonstrated a marked improvement. Despite the probable outcome being similar to last season, they have shown significant resilience and have remained competitive until the final day of the season.

A notable difference from last season is the absence of midfield stalwart Granit Xhaka, who departed the club during the summer transfer window.

His departure has left a void in the team’s midfield, which has yet to be adequately filled. However, recent reports suggest that the club may be taking steps to address this issue.

What’s the Latest Arsenal Transfer News?

According to journalist Ben Jacobs, (via Caughtoffside), “Arsenal have made contact” with Bruno Guimaraes’ representatives from Newcastle United, signaling their interest ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.

In addition, Jacobs mentions that Manchester City, Arsenal’s rivals for the title, have also made inquiries. Despite Newcastle’s reluctance to part with Guimaraes, they may find themselves compelled to do so once his £100m release clause becomes active from late May until the end of June.

However, there is a silver lining for potential buyers as Jacobs suggests that offers surpassing £80m could be considered, especially if Guimaraes desires a move to a Champions League club.

Despite the hefty price tag, acquiring Guimaraes would be a significant investment for Arsenal and could potentially ignite a bidding war with Manchester City. Nonetheless, given the gap in midfield left by Xhaka’s departure, securing the former Lyon player might be a worthwhile endeavor for Arteta’s team.

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How Bruno Guimarães Compares to Granit Xhaka

So, with Kai Havertz excelling as the team’s striker, Thomas Partey’s injury proneness a concern, and Jorginho’s age making him not a viable long-term option at 32, Guimarães could find a spot with the Gunners this summer. How do his performances compare to Xhaka’s final season?

Well, in terms of output, it’s remarkably close. Despite playing a slightly deeper role this season compared to Xhaka last year, the Newcastle player has scored six goals and provided eight assists in 48 appearances, while Xhaka managed nine goals and seven assists in 47 games last term.

Guimarães 23/24 vs Xhaka 22/23
Goal Involvements per Match0.290.34
All Stats via Transfermarkt

How about their underlying statistics? Do they align as closely? Well, it’s a mixed bag.

The Swiss player edges ahead in certain metrics, but only by a slim margin. Meanwhile, the Brazilian, dubbed “world-class” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, significantly outperforms in several other metrics.

Guimarães 23/24 vs Xhaka 22/23
Stats per 90GuimarãesXhaka
Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists0.280.30
Progressive Passes7.845.89
Progressive Carries1.751.26
Passing Accuracy83.9%84.7%
Shot-Creating Actions3.943.31
Goal-Creating Actions0.500.51
Tackles Won1.430.81
Successful Take-Ons2.010.45
Ball Recoveries6.334.56
All Stats via FBref

In the case of the current Bayer Leverkusen standout, there’s a slight edge in non-penalty expected goals and assists per 90, along with a slightly higher passing accuracy rate. Additionally, there’s a marginally higher count of goal-creating actions.

On the flip side, Newcastle’s standout midfielder surpasses in progressive passes, carries, and shot-creating actions per 90.

Moreover, this player takes more shots, executes and triumphs in more tackles, boasts a higher success rate in taking on opponents, and recovers a greater number of balls, all on a per 90 basis.

Although the productivity of both players appears quite similar, the underlying statistics of Guimarães from this season overshadow Xhaka’s from the previous year.

Therefore, if Arsenal has the opportunity to finalize this transaction, it would be advisable to seize it.

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