It has been a tough start to the season for Arsenal, one that has shown improvement defensively but one that has brought to light Arsenal’s goalscoring problems. The likes of Lacazette, Aubameyang, Pepe and Willian haven’t exactly hit the ground running yet and chances from midfield have been far and few between. So looking at January as our first chance to improve the squad, a creative midfielder is a priority. Now there is of course Houssem Aouar, but he is a player who is quite possibly too expensive for Arsenal. However, a player that has recently starred in the Champions League, is 19 years old and has a release clause of just £21 million, is Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai…
Now before we get into the stats and all that, let’s have a pronunciation lesson. The hungarian’s surname is spelt strangely with 2 silent ‘z’s, and it is pronounced sob-oss-lie according to detailed UEFA pronunciations page. So in the event sob-oss-lie does sign for Arsenal, make sure to refer back to this blog post (and also I’d recommend maybe going for a different player on the back of your shirt)! But now let’s get into the player himself!
He’s done it on the big stage:
The reason Szoboszlai has come to everyone’s attention and the reason I am writing this article is because of his Champions League performances so far this season. So far, the hungarian has a goal to his name in both of RB Salzburg’s group stage matches. He scored an absolute worldie from 30 yards out against Lokomotiv Moscow, which went in off the crossbar. He also scored against Atletico Madrid with a really lovely inside of the foot finish past Jan Oblak. So these are really promising signs of a player who can deliver on the big stage, and a player who is used to playing Champions League football, like we will be as of next season hopefully!
Creativity seems to feature in just about every single Arsenal article. It’s a problem we know we need to address, and at the moment is stopping us from mounting a top 4 challenge. But Dominik Szoboszlai does bring some creativity to the table. He managed 10 assists in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and created big chances all season and made 2.7 key passes per game. Here’s how his stats compare to Mesut Ozil in 2016/17, Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal’s leading creator for last season) 2019/20 and Houssem Aouar 2019/20.
He has the most ball recoveries per game (7), managed the most goals and assists per game, created the most chances per 90mins and also attempted the most crosses. So he would certainly fill that void!
Szoboszlai brings something that Arsenal have really lacked since the days of Wilshere and Ramsey, goals coming from the midfield. Xhaka, Ceballos and Torreira had 5 goals between them in all competitions last season while new midfield addition Thomas Partey managed 3 goals. But Szoboszlai in all competitions last season scored 11 goals and already has 5 for this season! So if Aubameyang and Lacazette continue to disappoint (which I doubt they will), then Arsenal will have another goal source in Szoboszlai. So the more goals the better! You can see this in another comparison with Lacazette and Aubameyang from last season.
So Szoboszlai has more shots per game than both Lacazette AND Aubameyang and has a higher shooting accuracy than both of them as well. And he’s a midfielder!
Dominik Szoboszlai is a free-kick super-star. And at this point I would take anyone to get David Luiz off free-kicks.
He’s a ball carrier:
Szoboszlai is a player who is not afraid to drive with the ball and find space. This is something Arsenal are lacking considerably and the Leicester loss showed that very clearly. We struggled to create chances because no-one was willing to make the run in behind or find space or really take any risks with the ball. And this is what Szoboszlai can do. And although, Aouar can do this sort of thing slightly better, he may be too expensive and so Soboszlai seems like the perfect option.
So to end, at just 19, Szoboszlai is a really exciting prospect for the future and with a release clause at just £21 million, he could and should be a transfer target for Arsenal this January. He brings a lot like creativity, free-kicks and even goal threat! Sign him up Arsenal! Please remember to check out my personal blog and my twitter page and have a good week! And below, enjoy Szoboszlai's best goals and assists from last season...