Kante vs Xhaka: Who Should Arsenal Sign?

Arsenal need to sign a midfielder in the next transfer window, but there is a debate to be had over what kind of signing would be the most suitable. At the moment, it seems to be boiling down to a choice between Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante or Borussia Monchengladbach captain Granit Xhaka. Both players have had outstanding seasons, and would certainly offer a great deal to this struggling Arsenal side, particularly with three experienced heads in Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky all likely to leave. Knowing Wenger, he surely won’t sign both, so which one would represent a move in the right direction for the Gunners?
Kante and Xhaka
Image Credit: Google
Let's analyse the main issues:

Price

Based on reports that have been floating around so far, there’s a substantial, if not enormous, difference in how much these two would cost Arsenal.


Of course, fans won’t be too bothered about the details of fees as long as Wenger is shown to be spending, but saving the odd £10million here or there could mean the Frenchman is more open to further signings later on – and it’s clear that Arsenal need more than just a midfielder.

Kante has a supposed £20m release clause in his Leicester contract, making him an absolute bargain in today’s market. Barring some absolutely masterful scouting or just plain good luck, Arsenal won’t find anyone this good for that price anywhere else in Europe this summer.

Xhaka, meanwhile, is seemingly set to command a fee of around £33.8m – not a huge amount, but enough that Wenger might be reluctant to go overboard with further spending afterwards.

In terms of value for money, Kante looks a no-brainer.

Style

While both of these are technically both box-to-box central midfielders, there’s a clear difference in how they play and what they’d bring to this Arsenal side.

Kante, as he’s shown this season, has a tremendous engine that would make Arsenal far less of a soft touch in the middle. If Wenger’s priority is to do more to shield his vulnerable back four, the France international is surely the best choice.


By the same token, while there’s no doubting Xhaka is surely an upgrade on the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Jack Wilshere, he looks like more of the same for Arsenal. His stats suggest a technically gifted, creative player who will probably prove disappointing in terms of end-product in the final third.

If Wenger can learn one thing from Claudio Ranieri this summer, it’s that sometimes it can be good to look back on your mistakes and embrace change. Xhaka would be the continuity option for Arsenal; an ideal replacement for Arteta or Santi Cazorla.

For the real change that’s needed, it’s surely Kante who’s the winner again here.

Experience

One thing counting against Kante is that he could prove like so many before him to be something of a flash in the pan.


The 25-year-old has been a revelation this season, but part of what has made him stand out so much is that no one had heard of him up until now.

Would he necessarily maintain this level of form at Arsenal? Will he run out of steam after so many energetic performances this season? Will he find he’s less effective in a side that has so much more of the ball than Leicester?

Xhaka, meanwhile, has consistently shown his quality since breaking through for Basel as a teenager. He won two league titles in Switzerland before moving to Gladbach, where his fine form has earned him the captain’s armband.

At 23, he also has an impressive 40 caps for his country, compared to Kante’s two despite being two years older.

From this point of view, one can understand why Wenger might see Xhaka as the safer option.

Risks

Given Kante’s £20m release clause, it seems almost inevitable that someone will sign him from Leicester this summer if Arsenal don’t get there first. There’s surely little chance he’s staying at the King Power Stadium.

The former Caen man has attracted interest from all around Europe, but it may be that he’ll wind up at one of Arsenal’s rivals, with Chelsea, Manchester United and City all linked with him in recent months.

Arsenal have suffered from dithering over signings in the past, and could be made to look very stupid again if they let Kante slip and he then shines for one of their direct title rivals. There is of course also plenty to be gained from weakening Leicester so significantly by poaching him for themselves.

Manchester United killed two birds with one stone when they signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal in 2012. The Dutchman fired the Red Devils to the title with 26 league goals, while Arsenal’s challenge faltered due that lack of a goal threat up front.

The positives seem to outweigh the negatives – should Arsenal be focusing on Kante instead of Xhaka?
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Kante vs Xhaka: Who Should Arsenal Sign? Kante vs Xhaka: Who Should Arsenal Sign? Reviewed by Paulson Ikenna Kyrian on 19:06 Rating: 5

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