clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

xGunners: Finding a Mesut Özil replacement

New, comments

Arsenal’s primary play maker is a free agent this summer, if he doesn’t re-sign who could possibly replace him with some amateur stats scouting.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Mesut Özil is a free agent this summer, if he doesn’t re-sign who could possibly replace him with some amateur stats scouting. I did this exercise yesterday looking at Alexis Sanchez and it turned up some interesting names and it was suggested to do the same looking at Özil.

I am still holding out hope that Özil will still re-sign with Arsenal but it is always good to be prepared.

For this I have picked out Big Chance key passes, total key passes, xA and xG as the key values to search for and looked for players that have a minimum of 75% of Özil’s out put for this season. I also wanted to look at total final third touches and also the amount of passes entering the final third each player made but I did not filter on these.

The results:

Özil Replacements

Player BC Key Pass Per 90 Key Passes Per 90 PPVA Per 90 Shots Per 90 xA Per 90 xG per 90 Final 3rd Touches Final 3rd Entry
Player BC Key Pass Per 90 Key Passes Per 90 PPVA Per 90 Shots Per 90 xA Per 90 xG per 90 Final 3rd Touches Final 3rd Entry
Alejandro Gomez 0.657895 2.960526 0.374041 3.289474 0.327749 0.208214 39.6 3.4
Alexis Sánchez 0.35809 2.924403 0.440216 4.058355 0.293211 0.417824 48.8 4.6
Dimitri Payet 0.80429 3.941019 0.431244 2.33244 0.473447 0.154236 29.5 6.5
Iago Falque 0.366102 2.745763 0.246196 2.562712 0.257789 0.252223 28.3 3.7
Lionel Messi 1.055556 2.666667 0.4538 6.055556 0.462657 0.817515 50.2 7.9
Lorenzo Insigne 0.563282 3.066759 0.439759 5.319889 0.312259 0.335019 45.8 4.2
Luis Alberto 0.357143 2.738095 0.403999 2.5 0.274272 0.266472 34 7.2
Marcelo Brozovic 0.419255 2.934783 0.385321 3.074534 0.315082 0.167617 32.8 5.6
Mesut Özil 0.430917 3.570451 0.707763 1.785226 0.312424 0.196451 47.8 7.4
Neymar 1.073986 3.72315 0.442526 3.72315 0.471627 0.41594 51.7 8.2
Philippe Coutinho 0.564516 2.903226 0.399065 4.354839 0.38177 0.291653 36.2 9.8
Willian 0.415896 2.828096 0.232498 2.162662 0.320999 0.168831 31.2 3.2

Özil’s skills are pretty unique and not replicated by many players in Europe. As replacements, we can eliminate Messi, Neymar, and Coutinho for sure. Let’s look a little further, who is this Alexis Sanchez fellow? His stats look like he might be a really good player, let me just look at his information, wow looks like he is available for a free transfer this summer. His team must have really screwed up his contract situation. DIES.

Ok I am back, I’d say trying to lure Lorenzo Insigne nearly impossible as well but he is another player on my dream transfer list, just look at those stats:

Dimitri Payet continues to not quite be as good as Özil no matter what the West Ham fans thought.

That said he has put up very good numbers for Marseille but is also 30 and not a player to build around long term, especially when you could just make a godfather type offer to keep the better player in Özil.

Willian, Alejandro Gomez and Iago Falque are all in their late 20’s (29, 29 and 28 respectively) and don’t exactly fit the age profile of the rebuild that is needed at Arsenal.

Willian also has the problem of currently being employed by Chelsea who would likely not be interested in doing business with Arsenal.

That said he is a player that I have always liked and I think he would have been a great fit as a wide creator/goal threat for Arsenal.

That leaves Luis Alberto and Marcelo Brozovic as realistic targets based on my very simple stats scouting.

Alberto has played primarily as a central attacking midfielder for Lazio this season with 6 goals and 7 assists. These numbers are well above his expected numbers he has produced but not crazily. The one area he doesn’t quite measure up to Özil is in creating and passing, but then again not many players can.

Brozovic has impressive statistics but he has done it in just under 700 minutes this season which makes this a little on the small sample size. In addition when you see players who have quite a few substitution appearances you need to be aware of the sub bonus that boosts players offensive numbers.

Those caveats noted that is a very nice looking radar.

Let me know in the comments if there any other players to compare. I’ll add it to the Alexis comparison follow up as well.