Arsenal are reportedly plotting a big bid for an impressive Southampton midfielder, but is he the right signing for the Gunners?
According to a report in The Mirror Sadio Mane is wanted by Arsenal this summer as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his attacking options and add more efficiency to his frontline.
Arsenal’s primary concern is to sign a top quality striker this summer, having already completed the signing of Granit Xhaka, but there is also a need for a goal scoring wide man, especially if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott were to leave the club this summer. Mane certainly meets those criteria with an impressive 11 Premier League goals this season. The 24-year-old has played predominantly behind the striker this season for Southampton, but he can play on either wing or even as a striker. Should he join Arsenal he would more than likely play on the left wing.
Arsenal’s wingers have not found the net often enough this season and Mane could help address that issue. He has scored 0.38 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, higher than Walcott (0.33), Chamberlain (0.10) and Campbell (0.30). Mane also has an impressive assist rate of 0.21 per 90 minutes.
Mane would add pace and efficiency to an often too predictable Arsenal attack. His signing would certainly be a good one and probably provide an upgrade on some of the clubs current wide options: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Campbell. £17million seems a little cheap considering Mane’s form and the clubs interested, Arsenal would more likely have to pay £20million-£30million to persuade Southampton to part with one of their best players – who is also wanted by Manchester United.
Mane’s shooting and pass accuracy %’s are impressive and more than match up with the Gunners current options. He also takes 2.98 shots per 90 minutes, highlighting his forward-thinking attitude in midfield. Arsenal certainly need to add players capable of making the difference in the final third and the Southampton man is certainly one who can do that.
Mane is only marginally older than Oxlade-Chamberlain and Campbell, and younger than Walcott. Signing Mane would give Arsenal an established Premier League goalscoring midfielder and provide them with a player that at just 24, is yet to reach his peak and has his best years ahead of him.