The Gunners want Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in a deal for Alexis Sanchez. He’s a closer replacement to Mesut Ozil, but which of the two is a better option for Arsenal?

The Gunners are including Mkhitaryan in a swap deal with Alexis, but the two players aren’t particularly similar. The United player’s strengths are his passing and crossing, whilst the Chilean is better at dribbling and scoring goals. The 28-year-old also contributes decently defensively, something which is certainly not true of Alexis this season.

If you had to match Mkhitaryan up with someone in the Arsenal squad, it would be Özil. Over their careers, both players have very similar levels of goal contributions. Özil has 299 goals and assists in 525 games, Mkhitaryan has 219 in 365 games. That’s 0.57 per game versus 0.60 per game respectively.

ozil newcastle
Mesut Ozil

The Armenian international is more of a goalscorer (125 goals vs 97), while the German is much more of a creator (202 assists vs 94). Since they’ve both been in England (the start of 2016/17), the former Real Madrid man has had the edge. He has 16 goals and 19 assists, versus the United player’s 13 goals and 11 assists.

I’d never claim it was a like-for-like swap, however. For me, Özil is one of the best players in the Premier League, and Mkhitaryan is not. The World Cup winner is creating massive numbers of chances every single game (3.81 per 90 minutes this season). His United counterpart is creating good numbers too, but nowhere near the same (2.72 per 90).

Still, if Wenger is signing a player in the same sort of mould as the 29-year-old, it doesn’t bode well for the chances of the playmaker agreeing a new contract. Hopefully I’m wrong.