Arsenal have one of the smallest squad in the Premier League in terms of the number of players they have in their ranks.
Specifically, with 23 players in the senior squad, only West Ham United (22) have fewer.
One of those 23 players that have been a prominent figure in the team for Mikel Arteta this season is Granit Xhaka, who only has three other outfield players at Arsenal with more minutes under their belts than him.
Now at the age of 30, the midfielder, who is set to enter the final year of his current contract at the Emirates this summer, is one of Arsenal’s oldest squad figures.
With that in mind, one other midfielder that the Gunners have been linked with that we feel could be Arsenal’s next version of Xhaka is Youri Tielemans.
The end of this current season will see the Leicester City midfielder become a free agent as his contract at the Midlands club is set to expire in the summer.
In terms of being an ideal next version of Xhaka, the duo’s endeavours for their respective sides in the Premier League this season suggest why this could be the case. Let’s look at how both players entered Leicester’s game against the Gunners:
Would Youri Tielemans be a good signing for Arsenal?
In terms of being in possession, the pair have a similar total of progressive passes (137 vs 140), crosses delivered (30 vs 33), progressive carries (24 vs 26) and rate of shots per game (1.2 vs 1.18).
Then, in terms of his work out of possession in a more defensive sense, this is where the Belgian has been more prominent than the current Arsenal figure, as he has made more successful tackles (28 vs 13), interceptions (19 vs 10) and blocks (31 vs 21) than the Switzerland international.
Lauded for his “sublime” technique by journalist Josh Bunting, Tielemans has shown that he has the capabilities of doing what Xhaka does for Arsenal on and off the ball.
That’s why we feel potentially landing a free transfer for the 25-year-old Leicester star this summer would be a fantastic bit of business and something that the Gunners should definitely look to do.