Reports suggest that Arsenal will turn their attentions to Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia in the event that they miss out on Morgan Schneiderlin.
That such a turn of events may come to pass looks increasingly likely if the Independent is to be believed, with the paper suggesting:
“Schneiderlin looks set to join Manchester United, with the Saints midfielder reportedly agreeing personal terms with the Old Trafford club.”
Southampton remain 73/100 favourites to stable their man at the close of the transfer window, with United second in the betting at 3/1, just a point ahead of the Gunners.
It’s understood the north London club are preparing a bid of £25m for preferred alternative Kondogbia, but is he a worthy second choice for such an outlay?
Here’s how they measured up on the key domestic league stats for players in their positions in 2014/15…
Kondogbia is currently 3/1 to be an Arsenal man by the close of the transfer window, but few Gooners will be keen for that bet to cop based on these numbers.
Bested by the supposedly Old Trafford-bound Schneiderlin on all five metrics, his sometime French international would surely rate an inferior acquisition.
When the difference between their averages is scaled up to take the difference in quality of the respective leagues the pair operate in and their sides’ respective standings in those divisions, the necessity of signing the latter is magnified.
The Southampton star’s greater ability with the ball at his feet is perhaps less surprising than his dominance in the tackle.
As a result, signing Schneiderlin would represent a far more tactically savvy manoeuvre, with the breadth of his skillset potentially negating the need to play a pure spoiler such as Francis Coquelin alongside a playmaker.