Arsenal could sign £86m-rated “world-class” ace to be their own Salah

After what must have felt like an incredibly long time away from football following their festive season collapse, Arsenal stormed to a 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s men looked like they were getting back to their best, with Gabriel Martinelli picking up a Thierry Henry-esque brace from the bench, although Bukayo Saka left the pitch without a goal or assist to his name.

The talismanic winger has seen his on-field impact dwindle somewhat over the last month or so – one goal in seven games – but with little in the way of genuine competition on the right wing, Arteta hasn’t got much of a choice but to start him.


However, the latest player touted for a move to N5 could provide the challenge the Englishman needs, and with comparisons to Mohamed Salah, a challenge it would be.

Arsenal look to Germany for rightwing depth

According to reports from Spain, Arsenal are seriously interested in signing Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane in 2024, with Arteta seeing the German ‘as the perfect signing to increase competition on the right wing’.

The report has also revealed that alongside the Gunners, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are keen to land the winger’s signature this year.


While the competition from their Premier League rivals is far from ideal for the north Londoners, the fact that Sane’s current contract with Bayern is set to expire next summer is.

A potential transfer fee has yet to be reliably reported, but the CIES football observatory values the 28-year-old at around €100m – £86m – and while that is undeniably expensive, it might prove to be value for money if he can replicate his performances in the red of Bayern in N5.


Arsenal pushing hard to sign their next Xhaka in potential £100m move

Arsenal are keen on bolstering the central areas of their team in 2024.

How Sane compares to Saka and Salah

Now, for a modern-day winger, there are few – if any – more flattering comparisons than Liverpool’s Egyptian king, Salah. However, according to FBref, the outrageously talented wideman is the third most similar player to the German in Europe’s top five leagues.

This conclusion is reached by comparing where players rank for specific important statistics to other players in the continent’s top five leagues. Then, those who are in similar percentiles for multiple metrics are placed together.

For example, the “world-class” German, as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, sits in the top 2% of wingers for assists per 90, as does Salah. Another example is non-penalty expected goals, with the Bayern star sitting in the top 3% of players and the Liverpool star ever so slightly ahead in the top 1%.

That said, with Arteta’s initial interest in Sane stemming from a desire to give Saka more competition and improve his front line, how do the pair’s underlying numbers compare?

Well, FC Hollywood’s “level raiser”, as data analyst Ben Mattinson dubbed him, might just help to raise the level at the Emirates as in every attacking metric bar aerial duels won, he emerges victorious.

While the margin of superiority is small in some areas, such as passing accuracy and progressive carries, it is vast for many others, like successful take-ons, shots on target and non-penalty expected goals and assists per 90.

Leroy Sane vs Bukayo Saka

Stats per 90



Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists



Non-Penalty Goals






Progressive Passes



Progressive Carries



Shots on Target



Passing Accuracy



Shot-Creating Actions



Succesful Take-Ons






Times Dispossessed



Ball Recoveries



Aerial Duels Won



All Stats via FBref for the 2023/24 Domestic Season

In contrast, Saka is the clear winner when it comes to ball recoveries and the number of times each player is dispossessed or miscontrols the ball.

Moreover, if the Hale End star was placed into a team as domestically dominant as Bayern, he might also be able to produce offensive numbers as impressive as Sane. Still, as things stand, the German has him beaten in that regard.

Ultimately, if Arsenal can get a deal for the former Manchester City ace over the line – helped by Arteta’s previous relationship with him – they absolutely should, as the potential competition between him and Saka can only make the team stronger.

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