Daily Archives: June 9, 2015

Schneiderlin or Kondogbia: Who Would Arsenal Sign?


Arsenal 'close on Premier League midfield transfer after making £25m bid'

With Barcelona and Juventus closing the curtains of what has been a great season, we have to make do with the transfer rumors emanating from various sports sites like want more hits than the amount of goals the Messi-Neymar-Suarez scored this season.

The Saints made a considerable amount of profit from transfer sales of Rickie Lambert (£4m), Luke Shaw (£30m), Adam Lallana (£25m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Calum Chambers (£16m) and Jack Cork (£3m) which summed up to £98m but they spent some money on replacements like Dusan Tadic (£10..9m), Graziano Pelle (£8m), Fraser Forster (£10m), Shane Long (£13m), Florian Gardos (£5.5m), Saido Mane (£11.8m) and Ryan Bertrand (£10m).

Despite their transfer dealings, Southampton was tipped to struggle in the Premier League but Ronald Koeman brought some good football to St. Mary’s and they put up some amazing results at home, as well as a couple away which ultimately led to a seventh place Europa League finish. Southampton were renowned for their mean defense in the course of the campaign and it was due to a collective work ethic they had when defending as a team. Forster kept a lot of clean sheets in the season and was a forerunner for the Golden Glove before a serious injury halted his progress but the great work Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama put up this season must be mentioned.

Schneiderlin has been on high demand for a while now with Tottenham’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, trying to poach him last summer when he left the Saints to Tottenham. The French midfielder suffered an injury-stricken campaign but he still managed to score five goals for the team. His defensive work was good as always and as expected, teams are sniffing around for his services.

According to Goal.com, the Southampton hierarchy has placed a price tag of £25 million on one of their prized asset, Morgan Schneiderlin. But the question would be – is Schneiderlin actually worth that amount?

If Schneiderlin is to join Arsenal, he’d have to contend with Francis Coquelin, Arsenal’s enforcer that protected the back line with such valor and doggedness in the second half of the season. Before I delve further into this discussion, I felt it would be nice to compare the stats of both players in the Premier League this season. Bear in mind that Schneiderlein has played many more games than the Coq.




Appearances (subs)

19 (3)

24 (2)

Tackles made per game



Interceptions made per game



Fouls committed per game



Clearances per game



Blocked shots per game



Aerial Duels Won per game



Pass Completion percentage



Bookings (Yellow/Red)



Stats via WhoScored.

From the stats shown above, these are two defensive midfielder that are in the peak of their powers and having both of them in the same team will be awesome. Schneiderlin had more tackles and committed more fouls than Coquelin. He also had a better pass completion percentage than his French compatriot. Coquelin on the other hand, made more interceptions, clearances, blocked shots and aerial duels than Schneiderlin.

I’d love to have both players at Arsenal, but I tend to wonder if he’s actually worth that amount of money been placed on his head. The Mirror published a piece that the Gunners aren’t prepared to buy top pounds for Schneiderlin but the Independent reports that the Gunners are also eyeing a move for Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia if a move for Schneiderlin doesn’t materialize.

I thought it would be nice to compare all three defensive midfielders from a statistical perspective

 League Only Coquelin Schneiderlin Kondogbia
Appearances (subs) 19 (3) 24 (2) 22 (1)
Tackles made per game 3.2 3.7 3.1
Interceptions made per game 3.7 2.6 2.5
Fouls committed per game 1.4 1.8 1.3
Clearances per game 3.1 1.7 0.7
Blocked shots per game 0.4 0.2 0.1
Aerial Duels Won per game 2.5 1.8 1.3
Pass Completion percentage 85.9% 89.3% 86.2%
Bookings (Yellow/Red) (5/0) (5/1) (3/1)

Stats via WhoScored.

As an avid Arsenal fan and ardent watcher of the Premier League, I can vouch for the performances of Coquelin and Schneiderlin because I watch them on a consistent basis but I cannot say the same for Kondogbia, even though I got a glimpse of his ability when Arsenal locked horns with Monaco during the preseason and twice in the Champions League knockout stage.

Kondogbia has the frame of Patrick Vieira and he’s a dominant force on the field of play. Boy, he has a thunderbolt on his left foot, as the Gunners found out at the Emirates in February.

The media is heavily linking the Gunners with Schneiderlin and Kondogbia. Who would the Gunners sign?

I’m happy with either signing because they’d improve the game massively. I don’t expect Francis Coquelin to play every game and with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini washed up, the Gunners would definitely need another holding midfielder of top top quality.

We all know Wenger loves his top top quality.


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