Finding Mikel Arteta Comps
2 min read

Finding Mikel Arteta Comps

With the Arsenal match postponed over the weekend, I had some time on my hands that would normally have been spent doing writing and analysis of the match. I decided that it would be fun to add another historical season to my database to be able to look at and compare those players to modern times. So I went and got the data from the 2012-2013 Premier League season.

It is fun to go look at how some the best players of that season look statistically using the fun visualizations that we have now but perhaps most interesting is that it opens up the ability to try to find players that are similar statistically to players from back then.

One of the players that I have always thought was very good with Arsenal (and actually I was surprised that this isn't universal) is Arsenal's current coach and former Captain Mikel Arteta.

Arteta was an amazing deep midfielder and I think based on the responses highly underrated. Before his legs gave out on him, he was incredibly important at providing cover for the other Arsenal midfielders to be able to go do fun attacking things. So just out of curiosity, I went and asked my simple similarity tool (it is very simple in that it only looks at the 12 stats from the radar and tries to find the closest match) to find me, players like him now (under 26, 800+ minutes played).

This is the list that it returned.

My first thought looking at this list is that Arsenal have been linked with several of these players, with the rest being highly regarded. Basically, this would be an excellent shortlist of players to target in the summer for Arsenal.

I have already written up a bunch on these players when I did Stats Scouting for midfield targets if you want to see more on them.

Stats Scouting: Central Midfield
Arsenal have let Ainsley Maitland-Niles go to Roma on a loan, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny away for the African Cup of Nations, Granit Xhaka is out for at least the very short term with COVID. Arsenal are very short in numbers in central midfield. I had already thought that

Anyway, just a short post today because I was feeling a bit rusty on writing and thought that this was a fun exercise that came from pulling historical data.

If you want to see more players from that season, I did make a thread of some of the ones that interested me.