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Defensive stats are what gives Ramsey the nod over Fabregas

| 06.12.2013

The rumour mill insists that Barcelona are considering raiding Arsenal’s midfield offerings for a third time in recent seasons by buying Aaron Ramsey to join Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song, although Arsene Wenger has pretty much diffused any interest with a £50m asking price.

Also rumoured is that Arsenal would want Fabregas back if they were to consider any approach made for Ramsey, which begs the question, which of the duo would the Gunners be best having if they were to maintain their charge towards the Premier League title?

Arsenal’s odds are currently 11/5 to win the league, despite establishing a four-point lead at the top, and Ramsey’s eight goals from midfield have been influential to this.

Ramsey’s job is effectively the link to connect everyone else, doing a bit of everything in the process. The fact he has added more goals to his game stands out, especially his ability to drift into the penalty box in a late manner more associated with Frank Lampard.

His defensive involvement should not be underestimated either, as on average, he is successful in over four tackles in each league game.

It is this defensive department, rather than his goals, than makes him a greater asset to Arsenal than Fabregas on current form.

Fabregas’ Barcelona return of five goals is far from shoddy, while he trumps not only Ramsey, but also all of his club teammates for key passes and assists this season.

Meanwhile, in terms of shot and pass accuracy, there is barely anything between them.

However, defensively, Fabregas is comprehensively second best to Ramsey in areas ranging from tackles to interceptions. It could be argued that this is because Arsenal spend more time without the ball, but Gerardo Martino does seem to be encouraging Barcelona to be more direct since taking over.

Therefore, even if Arsenal did have the option of getting money and Fabregas in exchange for Ramsey, this may not be as productive a deal as it may initially seem on paper.