Arsenal: Gunners interested in Amadou Onana

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As per Het Nieuwsblad, Arsenal are in ‘constant contact’ with Amadou Onana’s entourage.

What’s the latest on Arsenal’s interest in Onana?

The Gunners want to sign the 21-year-old, who is sure he would like to leave Everton this summer – even if they avoid relegation to the Championship.

Reportedly, the Merseyside outfit would be willing to sell the Dakar-born midfielder if their £52m-£61m evaluation is met.

How would Onana fit Arsenal?

The former LOSC Lille midfielder has been a revelation in Everton’s side this season. Despite Sean Dyche’s team sitting just above the relegation zone, Onana has shone with his displays – which sees him rank fourth (6.71) on WhoScored for Everton players with over 1000 minutes played.

Paired in the centre with fellow Senegal native Idrissa Gueye, the £38k-per-week star averages 2.55 tackles per 90 minutes and 1.17 interceptions per 90 minutes, via FBref. These statistics showcase his defensive stability for the Toffees which has been a key reason he has accrued admirers from other clubs.

Despite this being his first season in the league, Onana has taken to the physical aspect perfectly and has begun to master his craft under Dyche. 

If Onana, described as a “leader on the field” by ex-Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, did make the switch from Merseyside to north London, it is likely he would play a similar role to Thomas Partey this season instead of Granit Xhaka’s more advanced role. When comparing the two defensive midfielders, Arsenal’s Ghanaian is much more complete with his distribution, as he makes more passes and completes them at a higher rate, as per FBref.

Everton's Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye in action with Arsenal's Jorginho and Granit Xhaka

The €42m-rated (£36.5m) Belgium international, praised by journalist Sam Dean for being “the best player on the pitch” against the Gunners in their recent contest, is ranked within the top 8% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues for aerials won – showing that his aerial ability is a strong aspect of his defensive game.

Compared to other Premier League players such as Scott McTominay and Vitaly Janelt by FBref, the 21-year-old’s game relies heavily on his physical nature, which is something Arsenal have been criticised for lacking in the past. Despite bettering their physicality this season with the introduction of William Saliba into the defence, having the former Hamburg midfielder in the ranks will further this monumentally.

The acquisition of Onana to the Emirates would provide the Arsenal squad with more depth for Partey’s role, as Albert Sambi Lokonga has not quite developed there yet. The signing will not come cheap for the Gunners, but the 21-year-old has proved that he has a high potential that he would be able to evolve under Mikel Arteta’s watchful eye.

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