A common theme seems to be occurring with myself and Arsenal signings, which is I know very little about them. So as with Xhaka and Elneny I’ve looked at the stats behind the man to try and infer what kind of player were getting, unfortunately stats have zero bearing on centre backs so Mustafi and Holding can’t be explored. All I know about Perez at this point is he looks like a left footed David Villa on YouTube and I sing his name to the theme of Andrea Bocelli’s Vivo Per Lei in my head. Meaning I had to turn to Sqawka and WhoScored to have a more in depth look into our new Spaniard. Whilst also comparing him to our failed suiters this summer in Vardy and Lacazette and also our own marmite Frenchman Olivier Giroud to see how he measures up. As well as throwing the premier league’s premier striker in Sergio Aguero into the mix, harsh I know but to be the best and all that.
Before delving into the stats he already ticks a lot of boxes in terms of profile. The manager has long been on about ‘players not born on the red carpet’. Meaning he’s sick of mummy cuddled 18 year old academy graduates who are millionaires before kicking a ball. Which actually is a huge concern for British football on a whole because you can’t manufacture that fire inside that comes from struggle, cough cough British core. Whereas our new boy’s CV certainly suggests he’s had to fight to get to where he is today. Fighting mentality aside the man also seems to have pace to burn which helps us in pressing high up the pitch. And we can finally have a striker who can run into the box meaning we can attack space at a lot higher pace and shorten our turn overs from defence to attack.
Girouds great at little runs in the box but unfortunately doesn’t have pace to make effective runs into the box. Which at time makes our attacking play difficult because defences have ample preparation time to defend against us in numbers. Also noting our acquisition of Xhaka and pursuits of Lacazette and Vardy I think Wenger’s summer was geared around finding ways to get us up the pitch quicker.
Scoring 17 La Liga goals last season for a 15th place Deportivo seems a pretty good return. And out of himself, Lacazette, Vardy, Aguero and our very own Olivier he had the highest shot accuracy percentage per 90 mins with 59% to Laca and Vardys 57%, Kuns 56% and Ollies 54% whilst also posting the lowest shots per 90 out of the group with 2.7 compared to Agueros 4.5 meaning he’s quite economical at hitting the target and playing for Deportivo he had to be. So hopefully playing for the Arsenal he should get more opportunities and hopefully bring his average goals per 90 up from .49 to more Lacazette and Vardy figures, who had .64 and .69 respectively. I would also like to think he’ll bring Girouds tally up from .59 because we won’t need to run our beautiful Frenchman into the ground making his barren patches even worse but expecting Kun’s incredible .91 would be fantasy but I don’t see why he can’t get near to the others in terms of numbers with Xhaka, Santi, Sanchez, Ramsey and Ozil to play with.
Eight assists is the most out of our five protagonists and is probably owed to spending previous spells of his career out on the flanks. Not only meaning he’s going to make us more creative but also gives us another option on the flanks a la Wiltord and Le Prof loves a converted winger. He averages 1.84 key passes per 90 with the next best being Laca with 1.22, last being Kun with .91 and our very own Ollie having 1.11. He’s also the clear winner with chances created per 90 with 2.07 leading Ollie, Vardy and Lacazette with 1.33, 1.32 and 1.31 respectively. That coupled with a pass completion of 79% and our off the ball runners in Walcott, Sanchez, Ramsey and Giroud the Emirates faithful really could have a lot to look forward to this season.
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In terms of hold up play he isn’t bad, he’s dispossessed on average 1.8 times per game which is worse than Girouds 1.2 but doesn’t seem to bad considering Aguero gets dispossessed 2.2 times per game. He also has a similar amount of unsuccessful touches compared Olivier with 2.1 to the Frenchman’s 2.2 meaning we shouldn’t lose too much in terms of build-up play if were using Lucas Perez instead of Ollie. Also his ability to run away from a man and dribble should make him even more of a threat. He average’s 1.1 dribbles per game to Ollies .3, a mobile quicker Arsenal is a better Arsenal.
All in all I think he was much better value than Lacazette, probably a player with many more facets to his game than Vardy. And finally after an age of waiting a different option and accomplice to Giroud. He’s not the Hollywood Sergio Aguero type we’ve all been craving, nor is he the proven goal machine Hernandez type and I’d be a lot more enthused if he were six years younger and signed in July. But I accept the striker market is sparce. Also I still have an inkling Wenger has some belief left in his ability to bring Welbeck on that 10% but still hasn’t had a full pre-season to work with the Mancunian. None the less though I’m still excited about what Perez can bring and have an inkling it’ll turn out to be a savvy piece of business. Because more chances should mean more goals for him and more chances created from the ‘9’ birth should mean more goals for Arsenal. So it should be very exciting to see how this all plays out starting at home to Southampton on Saturday.