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Mario Gotze a better idea than Philippe Coutinho

Arsenal fans are flocking to the Philippe Coutinho bandwagon, but I’ll be manning the Mario Gotze bandwagon with pride. The German is better!

Arsenal must find help with their midfield this summer, and they have to get creative to do it. With a major investment already likely going towards Thomas Partey, they can’t afford to spend a bunch of money on a creative midfielder with pivot abilities. It’s just not possible, and so they will have to figure out other ways.

Loans and frees are other ways, but as the Dani Ceballos loan proved, loans can be dicey. Meanwhile, frees rarely ever amount to anything. They are, after all, free.

But the Gunners are looking at one of each, with a Philippe Coutinho loan and a Mario Gotze free each looking like a viable option to address the immediate need in the midfield. Naturally, most people are leaning towards the Coutinho option, but I, on the other hand, will happily preach in favor of Gotze.

Mario Gotze would be better for Arsenal than Philippe Coutinho

Let’s talk numbers first. Both are 27, so no advantage there. Career-wise, they each average 1.6 key passes per match. Coutinho takes the edge in dribbling, but Gotze takes a slight edge defensively.

And then there are the goals. In his career, Gotze has 71 goals and 64 assists in 19,986 minutes compared to Coutinho, who has 86 goals and 64 assists in 23,539 minutes. Let’s churn out those numbers to find minutes between goal contributions and…

Mario Gotze—148

Philippe Coutinho—157

…slight edge to Gotze. Back and forth, it’s slight edge over slight edge, Gotze gets the edge in ball security and passing, Coutinho gets the edge in shots. It’s really hard to determine a winner based on numbers alone, so why even bother.

What my preference to Gotze is based on is the nature of the move. I, like Arsene Wenger, generally do not like loans. You are borrowing a player from another team. Arsenal won’t buy Coutinho, nor should they. But Gotze would be a Gunner. He would be signing an actual deal with actual permanence and he would be our player. That will always, always give the edge over a temporary deal.

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Plus, Gotze is desperate for redemption while Coutinho has been around the block of all the best teams. What happens when the Gunners struggle? Is Coutinho the guy to lift us up? Probably not. Gotze may not be either, but I like his odds as a true Gunner than Coutinho’s.

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