Arsenal have been linked with a quite sensational move for Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus with the German touted as a potential replacement for Theo Walcott if his contract situation continues to go unresolved.
Whilst fans at the club will no doubt feel loyal towards Theo, the potential acquisition of someone of Reus’ reputation to our already formidable forward line may just be too mouthwatering to resist.
And with Walcott supposedly demanding wages of up to £100,000 per-week in his new deal, the club face a serious question over whether they truly want to retain his services at such a steep and inflated price – especially considering the likes of Reus could likely be convinced to join on such a similarly lucrative deal.
But what do the stats say? Hypothetically; which player would the club be more inclined to give such a contract to; would the German perform any better than the Arsenal man?
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We’ve correlated stats sourced by Squawka on a number of key attacking areas. It’s important to bear in mind that Walcott has played exactly half the number of games Reus has this season with a number of those having come after starting the match on the bench – but it’s still an eye opening comparison:
Walcott – 2
Reus – 7
Walcott – 0
Reus – 5
Straight off the bat, Walcott’s main contribution to Arsenal has always been his potency in-front of goal. The likelihood being you give him a sniff of a chance and more likely than not he’ll get it into the back of the net or put the ball in a position that will set-up a chance for a teammate.
Looking at his last full season with out major injury or absence, in 2012/13 Walcott managed a quite remarkable 14 goals and 10 assists from his usual wing position.
But come to this campaign and rather than see his regular gusto it’s been a quite worrying apathy from the England international.
Reus on the other hand, despite too missing a number of weeks through ankle injuries, is on course to replicate Walcott at his prime and perhaps even supersede.
Walcott – 2
Reus – 44
Walcott – 55
Reus – 421
Walcott – 2
Reus – 39
One of the major criticisms of Walcott has been his inability to offer anything else going forward rather than goals or assists.
With that starting to dry up this season, as demonstrated, it’s put even more pressure on what else he can contribute to the game but so far this campaign it doesn’t make particularly pretty viewing.
It’s actually a surprise just how much his lack of involvement in build-up or blossoming attacks is horrendously exposed through his stats; Walcott has only attempted a quite meagre 66 passes in eight – whereas Reus displays the kind of numbers you’d expect from a man in a high-octane team with 534 in 16, and whilst only two of Walcott’s can be classed as key, Reus meanwhile sails into the lead on 39.
Walcott – 29.41%
Reus – 52.36%
Successful take ons:
Walcott – 30%
Reus – 50%
Walcott – 0
Reus – 22
Walcott – 2
Reus – 14
Indeed Walcott’s complete lack of application in other areas of the field is almost at Lukas Podlski-esqe levels with the winger seemingly apathetic to get stuck in and put in a shift defensively or press and funnel back in the way we’ve done so effectively this season in big and memorable away wins – and his defensive stats just bear that galling fact out.
What’s frustrating about Theo is he has the ability to provide such crucial and decisive goals through a minimal number of chances but then there’s a big gap in his resume on what more he can provide.
Little else by the looks of it.
To demand such an inflated wage packet Walcott has to clearly demonstrate just why he thinks he’s worth that amount, but to be honest he’d be lucky to get little more than the ruffle of the hair and an “Awww, bless. You tried!” given how his season is going, never mind hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Theo needs to wake up to his position, he’s no longer got Arsenal in his sights like fish in a barrel; it’s not like 2012, we’re not in the midst of a transfer crisis, big name stars haven’t left – indeed they’re frantically being brought in, and frankly, he needs us more than we need him.
If he thinks he’s worth a £100,000 he must first prove it because Arsenal will have no qualms in simply cutting their losses and finding a player who fits that bill – and perhaps more worryingly for Theo, they already seem to have done just that with Marco Reus.