Although the transfer window only shut three weeks ago, Arsenal fans continue to get excited about a host of names being linked with moves to the club in the summer.
The most exciting player being tipped for a potential move to north London is without doubt Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
The 25-year-old has established himself as one of the Premier League’s star performers over the past two years. His majestic displays in this period have helped Aston Villa to both avoid relegation last season and push for European football in this one.
His good form at club level has also led to recognition on the international stage and he now looks firmly in the future plans of England manager Gareth Southgate.
Whilst this is a positive for the Villa midfielder, it’s not necessarily a benefit for interested clubs looking to sign him, with his English international status and imposing skill set only further inflating his already high transfer value.
Yet despite the fact that he wouldn’t come cheap, his underlying performance numbers indicate that he’d be worth every penny and he has the potential to have a transformational impact on Arsenal’s attack.
So far this season this, he’s registered six goals and ten assists. That breaks down to a high 0.73 goals or assists average per 90.
Furthermore with a total of eight, he’s also got the second-highest Expected Assist (xA) total in the league, ahead of the likes of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and behind only Bruno Fernandes, who has had a transformational effect on Manchester United in his year with the club.
As things stand, Bukayo Saka ranks as Arsenal’s best in this department, but he ranks way down in 27th with an xA of 3.3.
Grealish’s all-round ability to create is highlighted in the below, ranking Premier League players in terms of highest average number of shot-creating actions per 90. By FBref’s definition, a shot-creating action is one of two actions leading directly to a shot on goal such as a dribble, pass or winning a foul.
The Villa man ranks a very impressive second in this area with an average of 6.1 per 90. Again, Saka is Arsenal’s highest representative in this department, and he’s down in 24th with an average of 3.56.
The efficiency of Grealish’s all-round attacking game beyond just shot-creating actions is highlighted in the below which compares him to similar positioned players from across Europe’s top five leagues from across the previous 12 months.
As illustrated, the attacker has a high percentile ranking in a number of key attacking areas.
It’s clear that Grealish wouldn’t come cheap. However, the above indicates why, because his attacking numbers are up there with not only the best players in the Premier League but also from across Europe.
Therefore put simply from an Arsenal point of view, if it’s a deal that can be done, then there’s no doubt it should be done.