Should Arsenal Target This €30m Attacker From La Liga Instead Of Signing Mahrez From Leicester City?

Rumours have been floating around that Barcelona are looking to sell Turkish midfielder, Arda Turan. Signed from Atletico Madrid at the start of the 2015-16 season, he was only able to make his debut in January once Barcelona’s transfer ban had been lifted. Finding a place in the starting XI has been hard however for the Turk due to the abundance of talent available to the Catalans in attacking areas. Although he was used out wide a lot by Atletico, he’s primarily an attacking midfielder. When you have the likes of Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, Rakitic and Busquets, it is incredibly difficult to break into the first team.
Arsenal have been linked with several players, the most recent being Arda Turan and Alexandre Lacazette. While Turan is a talented player who would bring a lot of creativity in the final third, what they most desperately need is a striker and a defensive midfielder. Some media houses have been reporting a €30m million fee for Turan. While that may seem a lot, these days’ prices for most players are incredibly inflated.

In Sanchez and Ozil, Arsenal have two of the most creative players in the League, but they don’t have a striker who can score 20 goals a season. While Giroud is very much capable, he’s not a title winning striker. He’s never scored more than 16 goals in a season and when you’re trying to fight for the title, that is simply not good enough.

Another player that has been linked to Arsenal has been Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian was one of the standout performers for Leicester helping them to win the League title. His 17 goals and 11 assists helped him win the PFA Players’ Player and Fan Player of the year along with earning a place in the PFA team of the season. Although it was a stunning display of teamwork that led Leicester to the title, Mahrez was one of the few players that really stood out on that side.

If Arsenal does decide to go for either of the two, Mahrez might be the better option. Being only 25 years old, he’s more of a long term investment than Turan. Apart from that, his best years are probably ahead of him whereas Turan is arguably past his peak playing age at 29. The pace of the Premier League is faster than most leagues and the League is considered by many to be one of the hardest in terms of competition. This is why many players have a tough time adjusting when they move to England.

Since Mahrez has already played in England and succeeded, he won’t need much time settling in. Along with Ozil and Sanchez, he can be a part of a lethal attacking trio. If you look at the statistics, Mahrez had a better goal per game ratio, assist per game ratio, chances created per game ratio and successful take ons per game ratio.
While I think Arsenal are better off buying a striker and a defensive midfielder, if they have to choose between the two, Mahrez might just be the better option.

Written by Anurag Singh

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