We are just six days into the summer transfer window and numerous teams have done some serious business to strengthen their squads for the upcoming season. One of the teams right in the mix of things is Arsenal. The Gunners have already signed midfield enforcer Granit Xhaka and are close to signing last year’s Premier League winner Jamie Vardy. However, if news from various news outlets is to be believed, manager Arsene Wenger is working overtime to ensure he has the right squad to win the Premier League and his next target is the Swiss Left-back Ricardo Rodriguez.
German Publication Kicker has revealed that Arsenal are ready to activate the 23-year- old’s release clause in order to bring him to North London. The Wolfsburg defender has often been linked with a move away from the Volkswagen Arena with a number of teams being linked in the past and it looks like a move might be finally materialising.
Nacho Monreal, the current Arsenal left-back was a key part of the Arsenal side last season and featured 37 times for his side in the league. In this segment, we compare the performances of these two players over the last season.
A look at the numbers reveals that Monreal has had a relatively better season defensively. He has made critical tackles, interceptions and clearances, while ensuring he stays on the right side of the officials.
While his team might have finished a dismal 8th in the Bundesliga, Rodriguez’ defensive record is nothing dismal. His presence added a lot of steel to his sides rather frail defence.
Rodriguez has been hailed for his all-round performances for Wolfsburg as well as the Swiss national side and it comes as no surprise that he added a lot of firepower to the Wolfsburg attack last season. He was tidy in possession, made more key passes to his teammates in critical areas and also chipped in with a few goals to help his side. He has also shown the ability to beat his man time and again with his speed and an imposing physique and could prove to be an able ally to the creative forces present at The Emirates.
While he may not present the glorious numbers that Rodriguez does, Monreal’s attacking contributions over the course of the last season cannot be ignored. The Spaniard created close to 1 goal scoring chance every 90 minutes. The only issue with the 30 year old left-back’s performance would be is inability to get past his opponents and put in crosses, a problem that would be solved by the arrival of Rodriguez.
The numbers might suggest that there is very little to separate the two in terms of the overall performance. However, Rodriguez is arguably the best left-back in Europe, who, despite having a mediocre season presents rather tidy numbers. Should Arsene Wenger sign the 23 year old, his abilities could add a lot to his often deficient Arsenal side.
The Swiss left-back has become a priority signing for the club as Andreas Jonker, the current academy chief at Arsenal, identified him as a top signing in the summer. The player has recently mentioned about his desire to work with national team mate Granit Xhaka at club level and we believe a move is in the making. It remains to be seen if Rodriguez’s desire will come true as Arsenal are still pondering whether to activate his release clause or not. A decision to wait until the end of the Euros could prove disastrous for Arsenal, with a lot more clubs noticing the player’s attributes and chasing him.