Arsenal On The Brink Of Signing France’s World Cup Hero

By timgarrett IN Premier League,Transfers - 20:00 Jul 5th 2018

Having looked over the squad that he inherited from Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery has made his intentions clear by bringing in defensive reinforcements in the shape of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, as well as Bernd Leno in goal.

Holding midfielder Lucas Torreira, currently starring for Uruguay at the World Cup, could well be next through the door, thus providing the Gunners with some terrier-like protection in front of their back-four, but he is not the only transfer target currently impressing in Russia.

According to the latest media reports, the North London outfit hold a serious interest in versatile French defender Benjamin Pavard, though any deal struck with VfB Stuttgart for the 22-year-old may be dependent upon him remaining in Germany for another season.

Having helped his current employers to secure promotion in his debut campaign with the club, the former Lille man took to the Bundesliga like a duck to water in 2017/18, playing every minute for a team who boasted the second best defensive record in the division.

Operating mainly at centre-back rather than the right-back position from which he scored a wonder goal for his country against Argentina on Saturday, Pavard actually boasted slightly better top-flight numbers than Papastathopoulos last term:

Benjamin
Pavard
V
Sokratis
VfB StuttgartBorussia Dortmund
DEF   22Y 3M   6FT 1INDEF   30Y 0M   6FT 0IN
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
PAVARD
SOKRATIS
Starts
34
28
Minutes played
3060
2418
Goals scored
1
2
Goals with feet
0
2
Goals with head
1
Assists
0
Clean sheets
12
11
Goals against
36
41
Minutes per goal against
85
59
TOTAL
6
2

In fact, the 22-year-old’s minutes per goal against average of 85 was 26 more than that of the Greek international in the German top-flight, and 19 up on what Laurent Koscielny managed for Arsenal in the Premier League:

Benjamin
Pavard
VLaurent
Koscielny
VfB StuttgartArsenal
DEF   22Y 3M   6FT 1INDEF   32Y 9M   6FT 1IN
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
PAVARD
KOSCIELNY
Starts
34
25
Minutes played
3060
2227
Goals scored
1
2
Goals with feet
0
1
Goals with head
1
1
Assists
0
Clean sheets
12
8
Goals against
36
34
Minutes per goal against
85
66
TOTAL
4
3

Of course, the Frenchman does not yet have the experience or know-how of these two excellent central defenders, meaning that spending another season at Stuttgart would be beneficial to both the player and his future employers.

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