Arsenal set sights on creative German attacker Patrick Herrmann
Having signed Mesut Ozil in a big-money deal this summer, Arsene Wenger, according to the Metro, has set his sights on another highly-rated German to boost his Arsenal side, with Borussia Monchengladbach winger Patrick Herrmann said to be on his agenda for this coming January.
The 22-year-old is an agile, hard-working right winger, capable of playing as a second striker. He loves taking on opponents and is very effective in doing so, attempting an average of 3.2 take-on’s last season and 3.4 so far this campaign, completing 58% of them respectively.
In addition to being a good dribbler, he offers variation on the right side, is able to come in off the touchline and link up with team-mates in and around the penalty area.
In this case, it’s the fluid strike partnership of Max Kruse and Raffael. Mike Hanke and Luuk De Jong struggled last season, but ‘Gladbach’s current strike pairing, though under-rated, are of a much higher quality. Both are very mobile, visionary, and technically gifted.
They have started their debut season at the club very well and have even helped to make Herrmann more productive.
He created an average of one chance per game last season, but is averaging just over double that so far this season. Note where the vast majority of those chances were created in the above visualisation. This shows the kind of impact he can have when drifting inside, especially when teamed up with the right players.
Interestingly enough, the 17 chances he has created so far this season is the third-highest tally at the club behind Kruse (39) and Raffael (36). With Olivier Giroud’s link-up play improving game after game, the prospect of Herrmann linking up with him is a fine one indeed.
But more than just setting up chances, Herrmann is keen to get into positions to convert them as well. Theo Walcott, a right winger too, does this at Arsenal and is gradually improving in his efficiency in this regard. Herrmann scored six goals last season–all as a result of him either positioning himself in the right place at the right time or making the effort to come in off the touchline and get into the box.
He has just the one goal in eight appearances so far this campaign, but if he works on the placement of his shots, he should score more.
This aside, with such good movement and link-up play, it’s no wonder manager Lucien Favre feels comfortable using him as a second striker. He played that role on a few occasions last season, but there’s no need to do so this season given the impressive captures of Kruse and Raffael.
Still, it’s a nice option to have just in case. Wenger doesn’t really need that option either, given he plays with just one out-and-out striker in his system, but the same applies.
Another point to note about Herrmann is that he works hard in the defensive phase of play in addition to the attacking phase. He attempted an average of 1.4 tackles per game last season and is averaging 1.3 currently.
However, he is often too eager in his attempts to regain possession. He committed an average of 1.8 fouls per game last season and is averaging 1.4 so far this season. Still, Wenger would be assured of the fact that he is willing to press his opponents.
He may not be a necessary signing for the Gunners, but neither was Ozil. The touted fee is £17 million. If indeed Wenger is keen on a deal, that could prove money well spent.
Football graphics and stats from Squawka.