Monday, August 21, 2023

Arteta could sign Arsenal a right-footed Saka in "unplayable" £50m "serious talent"

Arsenal have long been craving a winger who will afford Bukayo Saka an element of rest.

The England superstar has played a huge amount of football in the last 24 months, failing to miss a single Premier League game in the last two years.

 

Signing someone to lift that burden, therefore, would be a good idea.

 

Who could Arsenal sign?

The Gunners haven’t been linked with too many wingers throughout the summer. A year ago, they tried to sign Raphinha before making Pedro Neto a priority target.

 

However, another name has been Kaoru Mitoma.

 

The Brighton sensation is one of the most eye-catching in the Premier League and amid interest from Manchester City as well, has been touted at £50m.

 

Arsenal have been interested in the last few months too, and should player funds be raised, a late dash for the player in the window cannot be discounted, according to football.london.

 

What are Kaoru Mitoma’s strengths?

The Japanese superstar is a dribble king. There are no two ways about it. This is a player who once studied the very art of doing so and his goal against Wolves on Saturday afternoon proved that.

 

He darted past three players from a run that started about 35 yards from goal. Cutting inside phenomenally from the left-hand side, he then weaved his way into the penalty area before finding the net in ruthless style.

That run encapsulated everything that is great about this “unplayable”, “serious talent” as he was described by journalist Ryan Taylor last season.

 

Such a piece of play was reminiscent of a certain Saka too. Unlike Mitoma, he plays off the other side, cutting devastatingly onto his left foot. We saw that against Nottingham Forest last weekend as he moved inside towards the edge of the penalty area before curling a sensational finish past Matt Turner.

 

Clearly, they are two of the most exciting and tricky wingers in the division.

 

What supplements their similarities is FBref, who suggest that Arsenal’s number 7 is in fact the most similar player to Mitoma.

 

As you can see in the data provided, when it comes to progressive carries and touches inside the opposition’s penalty area, they are almost identical. Indeed, for the former, Mitoma ranks inside Europe’s best 6% of wingers, while Saka sits inside the top 8%.

 

With regards to shot-creating actions, 4.33 vs 4.60 per 90 minutes in favour of Saka, they are nearly on par and there is little difference between their assists per 90 minutes either.

 

Of course, Saka is the more complete player at the moment. He scored 14 times and registered 11 assists in the Premier League alone last season, but Mitoma, with his seven goals and six assists, wasn’t too far behind.

 

 

 

Gabriel Martinelli has been devastatingly brilliant from the left-hand side over the last year, scoring 15 times and supplying six last term, but in the Brighton superstar, Arteta would unearth another mesmerising option down that flank, one who could potentially emulate Saka’s influence at the Emirates.

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