Andre Silva to Arsenal?
The 2021 summer transfer window will be a huge one for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.
The Spaniard has had a fairly mixed stint in the Emirates hot seat to date, with an FA Cup triumph overshadowed by two 8th-place finishes.
Finishing 8th this past season means that Arsenal now have no European football next term. Despite this, the Gunners are going to need to make a number of changes to their side if they wish to begin competing with England’s top clubs once again.
Even if said deals are completed, though, there still looks to be much more to do regarding both incoming and outings at Arsenal this summer.
The north Londoners need to add a creative midfielder to their ranks following Martin Odegaard’s loan ending. A move for left-back cover and perhaps even a right-back also seem quite essential as well.
Arsenal will also need to address a number of their player’s contract situations. Both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have just one year left on their current deals and if they do not sign new terms, it would make sense to sell them this summer.
Whilst the jury still looks to be out regarding Nketiah’s future, it does appear as though Arsenal have made a decision on Alexandre Lacazette.
Duncan Castles claimed recently that Arsenal are preparing a bid for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva, and plan to fund the transfer with the sale of Lacazette.
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) June 21, 2021
How Andre Silva compares to Alexandre Lacazette
But how do the two players compare?
Lacazette has also been a decent option at Arsenal but has never really stood out. He is also 30 years of age and given his contract situation it would seem like the best choice to part with him now.
Is Silva an upgrade on the Frenchman though? This piece will compare the two players’ 2020/21 campaign to assess if the Portuguese is indeed an upgrade on Lacazette.
Who is the better goalscorer?
Given the pair are centre-forwards, it would make the most sense to start with their ability in front of goal.
And at first glance, Silva does appear to be ahead of Lacazette when it comes to finishing. Across 2020/21, the 25-year-old found the net 30 times in 36 outings, a much better return than Lacazette who only scored 17 in 43 appearances.
However, it is worth pointing out that whilst Silva made significantly fewer appearances, he would also play 516 more minutes than the Arsenal star – the majority of whose appearances saw him either introduced off the bench or fail to complete 90 minutes. This suggests the pair would actually have a more similar goal total if they had both played the same number of minutes.
The duo are also pretty close when it comes to shot accuracy. Silva is a much more aggressive forward, and manages 3.50 shots per 90 minutes compared to Lacazette’s 2.10. However, Lacazette boasts a slightly better shot accuracy, hitting the target with 52.6 per cent of his efforts compared to Silva’s 49.6 per cent.
Lacazette’s superior accuracy does look to be further reflected when examining their goals per shot on target stats. The Arsenal star edges this slightly as well, scoring 0.43 goals for every shot on target. Silva, on the other hand, scored 0.40 for every SOT.
However, Lacazette’s shooting stats do appear to have been blurred slightly due to his penalty-taking as Silva (0.18) actually has a better non-penalty xG per shot than Arsenal’s striker.
And whilst Silva may take slightly wilder shots than Lacazette, this trait does benefit his side.
Across 2020/21 Silva (76) managed 20 more shot-creating actions than Lacazette (56). You could put this down to the former playing more minutes over the campaign. But Silva (2.48), also comes out on top vs Lacazette (2.17), when looking at their shot-creating actions per 90.
A number of Silva’s SCAs would come from shots that led to another shot on target. So whilst his accuracy may suffer slightly due to the types of shots Silva takes during a game, his team does benefit as he managed eight SCAs from his shots during 2020/21, whereas Lacazette managed just two.
The quality of Silva’s shot-creating actions also appears much higher than the Arsenal star as he averaged 0.46 goal-creating actions per 90 last term, whereas Lacazette only averaged 0.19 GCA.
Silva’s more aggressive style is further demonstrated by the fact he completed seven dribbles that led to a SCA in 2020/21 whilst Lacazette only managed four.
Where Lacazette does appear to have the edge on Silva, however, is in passing.
The former Lyon striker is a more accurate passer across all distances, barring long, which Silva edges by 0.7 of a per cent.
But it is fairly obvious that Silva’s game is not focused on passing moves and slow build-up.
He instead is much better at picking up the ball and making something from nothing, a trait Arsenal, who lack creativity somewhat, could perhaps do with in their no.9.
For example, Silva (696) only managed 70 more carries last season than Lacazette (626). Yet Silva’s progressive carry distance of 1583 yards, is significantly higher than the 980 yards of Lacazette.
Silva also carries the ball into much more dangerous areas than Lacazette. This is shown by the fact Silva carried the ball into the opposition box 37 times in 2020/21, whereas Lacazette did so just eight times. Even taking into account that Silva played more minutes, it is still quite clear he is much more adept at running at opposition defences to try and do something positive.
So, though Lacazette and Silva are perhaps fairly well matched when it comes to finishing chances, Silva does appear a much more positive striker who can create more for his side through his progressive runs and desire to shoot.
Silva is also five years younger than Lacazette, so his finishing will likley improve in the coming years as he gains more experience.
All stats taken from Fbref.
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