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01st Feb 2018

The statistics that prove Arsenal had the best transfer window

"It will be really exciting for the Premier League if those two can click"


In Partnership with Deezer.

The transfer window is closed, and only time will tell which Premier League club has conducted the best business.

But, as The Defending in Numbers podcast highlighted on this week’s show, there is a case to be made that Arsenal have had the most productive window. Or at least the most exciting. Yes, they still have a dodgy defence, and they’re still Arsenal – so they’ll still probably lose games because of avoidable goals.

Yet, it’s possible that they have emerged from January with a stronger squad than they had a month ago, thanks to the purchase of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and securing Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.

Defending In Numbers is a new Deezer Originals football podcast. Listen to the latest episode and subscribe to the podcast on Deezer and iTunes.”

Ali Maxwell, Alex Stewart and host Rob Armstrong discussed a range of topics on the show, including the transfer triangle that saw Aubameyang join Arsenal, which paved the way for Olivier Giroud to sign for Chelsea, which in turn enabled Michy Batshuayi to join Borussia Dortmund on loan.

According to Alex, Arsenal got the best of this deal, because of the potentially lethal combination of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, who previously played together for Dortmund. If these two click the way they did in the Bundesliga, Arsenal could become one of the most exciting teams in the Premier League again, as the statistics from their time together in Germany show.

“Pure goal scorers are a premium, and Aubameyang is exactly the sort of quick, predatory striker that should do well,” Alex said.

“Since he made his debut in the Bundesliga, only Lewandowski has scored more, and Lewandowski is arguably one of the best number nines in world football, and has been for a number of years.

“I think what’s interesting as well is him re-linking with Mkhitaryan. In the 2015/16 season, when they played together at Dortmund, Aubameyang got 25 goals, Mkhitaryan got 11 and 15 assists – which was the most assists in the Bundesliga. And they assisted each other three times. So, if those two can rediscover that synergy, then Arsenal will really be on to something.

Rob, Alex and Ali conceded that fitting all of their attacking talents into a starting XI could prove problematic for Arsenal. But, again, it will be exciting to watch, no matter what combination of forwards Arsene Wenger selects.

“Can you imagine, Aubameyang and Lacazette, with Ozil and Mkhitaryan playing behind them, and then width coming from the full-backs in a four man defence? That could be scintillating.”

“Arsenal have gone really big on Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan being back together,” Ali said.

“It was one of the first things Aubameyang said in his first interview for Arsenal. It will be really exciting for the Premier League if those two can click, and it would be fantastic for Arsenal fans, who needed a bit levity after a tough half-decade of losing their best players.”

If Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan can reignite their partnership at the Emirates, with Mesut Ozil playing alongside them, Arsenal could easily become one of the best teams to watch in the Premier League, and one of the most dangerous in attack. They’ll still probably surrender silly goals, but it won’t be dull.