Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have swapped teams, but how do the two Premier League stars compare this season?

By 90Min
January 24, 2018

The long-awaited swap deal of Alexis Sánchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has gone through, with the two going opposite ways in a direct exchange. As with every swap deal, both clubs will be under watchful eyes to see who came out on top, especially in a deal this large. 

With both players having been officially announced by their new clubs, data courtesy of EA Sports helps to show how the two compare.

So far in the 2017/18 Premier League season, Sánchez has proven to be the more accomplished goal scorer, and more accurate with his chances. Sánchez outranks Mkhitaryan in shot-to-goal ratio, in addition to shooting accuracy.

Both players have been known for their dribbling skills and the ability to create chances for the sides when moving forward, but once more it's the Chilean who is more successful with his dribbles, completing 40 of his 60 total attempted. 

Mkhitaryan also trails in chances created, yet holds the ball better than his counterpart, being dispossessed 1.5 times per match compared to Sánchez's 2.5

Category Sánchez Mkhitaryan
Shooting accuracy 37.6% 33%
Shots-to-goal 10.1% 6.6%
Dribble success rate 66.6% 45.2%
Minutes per chance created 29.55 33.25

Arsenal have completed the second-most passes this year in the Premier League, trailing only the tiki-taka Manchester City squad. The Gunners will surely be happy to add another talented passer to their side, with Mkhitaryan completing 82.5% of his passes this year, compared to Sánchez's 72.5%. 

If Mkhitaryan is able to continue passing at his current accuracy and picks up Sánchez's attempts per game, he'll be on track for 52 completed passes per match, nearly 20 more than his current average. 

Sánchez has more goals and shots on target in the Premier League this season, heavily outweighing Mkhitaryan in these categories. Sánchez has also appeared in more matches this season, yet has two less assists than his fellow midfielder. 

Of course, a big factor in how the two get on with their new clubs will be how quickly they can adjust to their new teammates and tactics, which will inevitably impact their outputs. As mentioned above, we can expect Mhkitaryan's passing numbers to rise while at Arsenal, and Alexis may see more assists come his way with his new attacking counterparts at United. 

Many believe United may have gotten the better end of the deal by getting a world-class player for no fee, yet Mkhitaryan may be the surprise success in a pass-heavy team. The two will have plenty of chances to prove their worth with Premier League and Champions League football still on the horizon for both clubs. 

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