There is a lot of speculation surrounding who Arsenal will attempt to buy in January to bolster their attacking options. A lot of potential targets have been mentioned in the press and as usual, Wenger is keeping very tight-lipped about any dealings. One player who has been briefly mentioned in connection to the Gunners (and Man City) is Stevan Jovetic.
The rumours were swept under the carpet when Fiorentina said they wouldn’t consider Stevan’s transfer status until June but there is speculation that Jovetic has an affordable release clause in his contract. But would Jovetic really be suitable to Wenger’s needs? Stats help us understand the situation…
Framed yet skilled
Jovetic is 6 foot and built, he’s not a battering ram but can handle himself physically very well. He plays as an out and out striker or just behind the line leader and is known for his great close control and technique. While not a superstar, the 23 year old has attracted comparisons to Roberto Baggio with his outstanding all-round creative displays.
He attempts to beat his man 6 times a game and while a success rate of just 45% might seem low, remember that he isn’t playing on the wing; where it is much easier to beat a man and central players generally have more difficulty regularly beating their man (as a comparison, Messi manages to beat his man 59% of the time) so this figure is actually quite impressive.
Jovetic’s general output as a striker is pretty good given his injuries of late; the Montenegran misses all of 2010-11 with a cruciate ligament injury and since returning has scored a goal every other game for a team used to mid-table finishes of late. This season he had scored a ratio-obeying six goals in twelve before his minor injury.
Jovetic is known for his ability to hold the ball in front of the defence and create chances for other with his great passing, he has created 23 chances this season and notched up 3 assists in the process.
Obviously any player being targeted by Arsenal has to be comfortable in possession and Stevan is no different. His pass completion rate of 78% is more than adequate but these are not the passes of a hold up man as over 50% of them are forward.
In fact, most of his failed passes are forward passes, intended on creating a chance or building the attack.
Top man without the top name
While Jovetic is adored by fans of “La Viola” and well respected in Italy, his name isn’t household across the continent, maybe because of his unglamorous Montenegran background or the fact he resembles a younger Brian May. His status as Fiorentina’s top performer this season is at least assured.
At only 23, there is potential for Jovetic to become a much better player than he already is. Without having played for a big team or being a big name player, he would represent fair competition for Giroud and Podolski at Arsenal and potentially have the skill set to relieve some of the creative pressure which has been placed so firmly at Santi Cazorla‘s feet this season. Whether Wenger will pay the required amount for a hot European prospect is, as always, in doubt.
By Nic English
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