Should Wout Weghorst Be Arsenal's Next Big Signing?

Should Wout Weghorst Be Arsenal's Next Big Signing?

The future of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is up in the air. In response, the rumour mill is working overtime. Recently, the German outlet BILD linked Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst with a move to the Emirates. So, should the Gunners hierarchy consider the Dutch striker this transfer window?

Weghorst spent his early career at three different Dutch clubs, before earning a move to Wolfsburg in 2018 at the age of 25. He scored 17 goals and assisted seven more in his first Bundesliga season. He finished this season with similar numbers, scoring 16 goals and assisting three.

At first glance, Weghorst looks an exceptionally productive striker. However, a big asterisk has to be put next to his goal totals because of penalties. Of his 33 Bundesliga goals, eight of them have come from the spot.

Another factor to take into account is that Weghorst has played a lot of minutes. That’s not a bad quality, in fact, it’s a good one. But it has to be thought about when looking at his numbers.

After subtracting the penalties and taking a look at his per 90 minutes numbers, Weghorst has scored or assisted 0.55 non-penalty goals in his Bundesliga career. That would put him 20th in the Bundesliga this season, according to FBref.com. That’s solid, but far from exceptional.

A big concern with this potential move is the age profile. Weghorst turns 28 before he will ever play a game for the Gunners. Research done by Michael Caley that peak age for footballers tends to be from 25-28. Late bloomers do exist, but, even then, Weghorst is likely, at best, in the middle of his prime.

Arsenal has been buying prime-age players to try to push forward for years, keep getting worse and then are unable to sell the players. That strategy has contributed to their difficult financial situation. Brining in Weghorst when they already have 29-year-old Alexandre Lacazette on the books could cause some squad balance issues.

Even if Aubameyang leaves, the Gunners still have Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. Bringing in a soon to be 28-year-old striker when there are so many other holes to fill could prove to be problematic.