Forget Eden Hazard – Here’s Who Arsenal Should Buy…

By on January 25, 2012

Dries Mertens

As we enter the final week of the January transfer window off the back of three consecutive defeats, many Arsenal fans are calling for manager Arsene Wenger to pull out the cheque book and make some big signings.

The one player Wenger has been consistently linked with for two years now is Lille and Belgian winger Eden Hazard (source: Sky Sports). This guy is undoubtedly a top talent and many reading this will think we should be flexing our financial muscle and spending big to secure his signature.

I too would love to see Hazard listen to his relative Vermaelen (so I am told) or his friend Gervinho and come to the Emirates. There is no question he would fit seamlessly in to our style but I am a realist and happen to believe he will go to Real Madrid.

What I would like to see however is for Arsenal to make a move for Hazard’s new Belgian international team mate Dries Mertens. After a great 2010/11 season with FC Utrecht (13 goals, 17 assists), Mertens, at the age of 24, was snapped up by PSV and has since enhanced his reputation with 13 goals and 11 assists to his name in just 18 games this season. Mertens is responsible for about half of PSV’s league goals (sound familiar Robin?).

Taking into account the Dutch Cup and the Europa League, he has 16 goals plus 16 assists in 27 games this season! Mertens is currently playing as an attacking left winger, which is Gervinho’s position, but he is in fact right footed so could play on either flank or just behind the striker.

He is diminutive at only 5 ft 7 but exceptionally quick and with a lethal finish and accurate final ball. Last year, with 20 assists in all competitions, only five players in the whole of Europe had made more goals for teammates than Mertens. Ozil and Messi were placed first and second respectively, if you’re interested.

If we accept that the standard of the Dutch and French top flights are similar, it might be interesting to compare the current form of our two Belgian maestros for PSV and Lille respectively.

Games

Hazard: 30

Mertens: 27

Goals

Hazard: 9

Mertens: 16

Assists

Hazard: 6

Mertens: 16

There is little doubt that Mertens has out-performed Hazard in terms of goals and assists this season. Of course now that Mertens has proven that he can perform for a top club in Holland, other top clubs will no doubt become interested. PSV will be reluctant sellers as they only bought him 6 months ago, but i’m not sure they would be able to turn down a large bid from a Champions League team.

I would love to see this mercurial talent arrive in North London. He could be bought for far less than Hazard and has the potential to improve further. He’s only 24, three years older and more experienced than Hazard and would be ready to hit the ground running.

Thanks to @goonerdave66 from o-posts for submitting this guest post

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47 Comments

  1. sugio

    January 26, 2012 at 1:49 am

    amazing statistics..better than hazard

  2. sunday

    January 26, 2012 at 2:01 am

    For those of you saying the dutch league is a crap, i’m asking you this question, our top striker(RVP), where did we get him from? How many games has ryo played? For kalou, can u compare arsenal with chelsea?(ask torres)

    • aresenal are cunts

      January 28, 2012 at 1:53 am

      Chelsea won more trophies than arsenal in the last decade. — Compared.

  3. fedupgooner

    January 26, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Arsenal FC will not be buying any players as long as AW is in charge! What dont ppl understand abt that. He clearly stated that he will not be buying anybody so this article is just total BS ! I dont know why ppl still waste their time on writing articles like this.

  4. fedupgooner

    January 26, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Oh BTW we’re NOT even going to make Champions League next season so “oalmasri” I know this might be your job but pls stop writing crap…Jack wilshere is coming back and AW thinks the world of Aaron ramsey, theo walcott and Andrey Arshavin so therefore our midfield will consist of too many players with Song, Arteta, OX, Rosicky and Gervinho plus is Frimpong on loan. So there is no way AW will sign another midfielder ok.

  5. fedupgooner

    January 26, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Sorry I might be getting carried away here..Dont forget our Midfield maestro Abou Diaby whos played too many games for us in the past 5 seasons hence his injuries… So thats 10 midfielders we have and I didnt count Benayoun whos on loan.My point is that until AW goes the squad will not change because he believes in the current crop of players we have. We need another boss !!

  6. cheti nelson

    January 26, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Good thinking but AW should go for defenders since he has thd worst defence in the epl this season. He better go 4 another striker to partner Robin. We have less than 6 days transfer dateline and i think AW wont buy.

  7. Isaacs

    January 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    What is very important is pedegree not current form

  8. AllezGooner

    January 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Arsenal will not be spending “big Money” for 3 or 4 years, regardless of who the Manager is; Until all debts have been paid off.
    Wenger is by far the best man for the job we need doing. Operating on a budget. Support.

  9. Beewai

    January 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I can’t even compare his performance to dat of hazard. Since his 2legged footer i tink wenger should buy him and replace walcott cos dat guy (walcott) does nt play up to xpectatn

    • AGGIB

      February 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

      are you grammatically challenged or just a lazy twat – either way makes you comments somewhat scorned at !

  10. Bashtug

    January 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Wenger let him bring his doughter to the pich nothing else is coming from him

  11. Cricy

    February 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Hope in summer he will be a gunner!

  12. Vamsi

    February 7, 2012 at 11:57 am

    we shouldn’t buy if Lille demands more than 20mil pounds for Hazard.

  13. Alpho4gooner

    March 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    He is more experienced than Hazard, more clinical than him, sharper than him. How I wish Wenger will buy this player during the coming transfer window

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