Arsenal Targets Jonny Evans and Riyad Mahrez: Who would be a better fit?

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WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City and Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on October 31, 2015 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
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We recently conducted a poll asking supporters which reported Arsenal targets are the best fit at the club right now, Jonny Evans or Riyad Mahrez. It seems fans are split.

Who would be a better fit, Evans or Mahrez?

The club certainly has holes to fill and two players’ names that are making the transfer rounds are West Brom’s Jonny Evans and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Both might be useful in an underwhelming midfield and damaged defence, but is one more needed than the other?

Jonny Evans: The stone wall that’s needed?

To say Arsenal’s defence is in a state of emergency is hardly exaggerated. It’s hard not to see it’s what is letting the club down at the moment—hell, it has been all season long. Missed assignments, poorly-played high lines, ill-timed challenges, poor zonal marking—the list is oh-so-long.

Lauret Koscielny’s form has dipped considerably and Shkodran Mustafi goes through fits of being serviceable with periods of inability. As was seen in the Chelsea game, Chambers and Holding are just not good enough to get the club where it needs to be presently. Per Mertesacker is, well, too ‘seasoned’ to help long-term. The club’s central defenders leave much to be desired.

Enter Jonny Evans.

Arsenal is interested in the Northern Irish-born defender, and for good reason. Evans has a lot going for him. As West Brom’s captain, he could instill a sense of calm as Arsenal transition from the old (aforementioned Per, Laurent, Shkodran, Nacho, Mathieu) to the younger (Hector, Ainsley, Calum, Sead, Rob, Konstantinos).

Evans isn’t young himself at 30 years old. But perhaps that he’s from a different club and could be a new face in an old place is important. Moreover, having played at Manchester United—which, granted, has gone through tumultuous years themseves—he’s been on the big stage before. He also spent a few seasons under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, if that’s worth anything these days. Oh, he’s 6’2, and height on a team that has been known to lack gumption on set pieces isn’t a bad thing either.

Bring him in, methinks.

Riyad Mahrez: Alexis replacement?

Been there, done that. Rumours that Wenger has fancied Mahrez have been around for a good year or more. Last summer things reached a fever pitch with many hoping they’d bring in Leicester boy to replace supposedly outgoing Alexis Sanchez. Is he an Alexis replacement?

No.

But he’s still very talented and his creativity would easily replace the Chilean’s. In fact, he does have other pros that are favourable in the comparison. He keeps the ball well, which is something that has plagued Alexis. He hasn’t the same goal-scoring threat obviously, but can you imagine the service that Lacazette would get with Mahrez and Özil in the team? Good lord.

The rumour is that Arsenal is in for Mahrez only if Alexis is outgoing. Maybe he’s not the perfect replacement, but he is a replacement that is logical albeit with a different direction. But is he playing at the same level he was in Leicester’s title-winning season? Perhaps not.

 

What do you think? Do you feel one is more important than the other right now? Who is the better fit? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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