ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta is desperate to sign a new midfielder this summer – with Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey his top targets.
Partey, 27, was the first to be linked, with the Atletico Madrid star the perfect player to protect the Gunners' back-line.
But in recent weeks, Lyon captain Aouar, 22, appears to have become the main man with his impressive attack-first game.
It's become clear the Gunners can afford just ONE of the stars – but who should they sign?
First and foremost, the duo are very different players.
Partey is a strong, defensive presence who would add some much needed steel to the midfield.
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Arsenal have the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka in the more defensive-minded positions – and Partey would certainly be an upgrade.
Meanwhile, Aouar is pacey, creative and very attacking and would certainly prove to be the more exciting option.
The Gunners have some decent creative talent with the likes of Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock and forgotten man Mesut Ozil on the books.
Both Partey and Aouar are set to cost Arsenal around the £50million mark.
So for Arteta, it really could be a case of just signing whoever they can get their hands on.
Aouar has scored one fewer career goal than Partey – but has played over 100 fewer matches.
And the Frenchman is well ahead in the assists stake – with 24 to the Ghanaian's ten.
Transfermarkt consider Aouar to be the more valuable player, too – at £44.6m to Partey's £36m.
If both players are set to cost around the same amount this summer, Arsenal would arguably get more bang for their buck with Aouar.
And the Lyon skipper also boasts a higher career average match rating on WhoScored.com – at 7.14 to Partey's 6.95.
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However, while Arsenal would gain the exuberance of youth in Aouar, you cannot overestimate the importance of experience in the Premier League.
Partey has bags of experience playing at the highest level with Atletico – as well as earning 27 caps for Ghana and having won two club trophies to Aouar's none.
Looking to the future, the singing of Aouar appears to be the better option.
But for the here-and-now, would Arteta be better off adding Partey to shore up his side for 2020-21?
It's arguably a win-win situation for Arsenal – but how they'd love to have added both…
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