Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil have been the Gunners’ star players for the last few years, but the question of which one is more important is being asked more and more.

Both are in the last year of their current contracts, so it’s probable that at least one of them will leave. If one of them does, that will free up a lot of room in the budget to spend on extending the contract of the other, so to some extent it makes sense for people to ask which the Gunners would be better off keeping.

We’re going to try and determine which of the two has been more important to the side since joining:

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Goal contribution

Although this is a very simplistic way of looking at two players, especially players ones who don’t play the same position, it’s often what people are most interested in, since goals are the factor that decides games.

According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Alexis has scored 73 and assisted 44 in 151 matches for the Gunners, whilst Özil has scored 32 and assisted 57 in 166. That leaves Alexis with 0.77 goals or assists per game, and Özil with 0.54.

I would like to point out that these stats can be misleading.

For example, looking at last season in the league, Alexis outscored and out-assisted Mesut.

However, while he had 10 assists to Özil’s nine, Mesut created 98 chances to Alexis’ 78. So Özil was creating more, the rest of the team were just missing the opportunities.

Of course, the German would be expected to provide more, given his position in midfield.

Alexis also scored three times as many goals as Mesut (24 vs 8), but took more than three times the number of shots (128 vs 40).

So Özil was actually more clinical, he just wasn’t playing up front to get as many chances as Sanchez did.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.