Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has made an immediate impact at the club since his appointment, falling to an unlucky defeat against Chelsea before securing back-to-back wins in all competitions against Manchester United and Leeds United respectively.
With the January transfer window now open, clubs up and down the country will be looking to strengthen their team ahead of the all important second-half of the season, and Arsenal are no exception.
An injury to Calum Chambers will leave the Englishman out for the long-term with Shkodran Mustafi expected to leave the Gunners.
Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has been linked with a cut-price move to the Emirates this winter.
What kind of impact could the former Manchester City defender have at Arsenal?
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To find out we booted up the popular football management simulation game Football Manager 2020 to have a bit of fun and try to predict the future.
Jerome Boateng to Arsenal
To set up this simulation, we booted up the Football Manager 2020 editor and arranged for Boateng to join Arsenal on January 1st for a fee of £7.5 million.
We then simulated the entire 2019/20 season on the game, to see what kind of impact the Bayern Munich defender could have at the Emirates Stadium.
We also updated the database to include the latest changes, including Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager.
This is what Boateng’s profile looks like in Football Manager 2020.
So, what kind of impact did he have on his arrival at Arsenal?
The German defender made 20 appearances for Arsenal from January until the end of the season, becoming a regular fixture in the Gunners defence, mostly alongside David Luiz.
The 31-year-old showed decent form in the Premier League, earning an average rating of 6.97 in his 12 league appearances.
It was in the Europa League and Carabao Cup in which Boateng excelled, but he did have a shocker in his one FA Cup appearance.
Overall, Boateng’s average match rating of 7.14 across all competitions is impressive, winning 13 of the 20 matches he appeared in, also winning an impressive 87% of his attempted tackles.
Some of Boateng’s best performances came in the club’s biggest games of the season, with the German playing a blinder in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Manchester United in April, a game in which David Luiz had a shocker.
He also excelled in an excellent 2-1 win at Anfield, with goals from Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles securing the impressive victory.
But as mentioned before, in was in the latter stages of the cup competitions that Boateng really showed his class.
First, the former Man City defender was exceptional in the Europa League semi-final first leg win over Benfica, a game in which David Luiz went off injured and Sokratis was sent off.
He also starred in a phenomenal performance in the Carabao Cup Final against Liverpool, as Arteta secured silverware for the club in his first season.
But, their success didn’t stop there, as Arsenal also won the Europa League too, getting revenge for their defeat in the final last season by this time beating Premier League rivals Chelsea 1-0. Boateng was a key player in the Gunners’ run to the final.
This is how Arteta’s best performing eleven looked at the end of the season, with Boateng featuring on the bench after only joining in January.
Arteta’s first season at Arsenal, if the club do sign Boateng, is predicted to be a great one according to Football Manager 2020, with the Gunners also securing a top four place ahead of Chelsea and Spurs!
So, Football Manager predicts that with Boateng in the Arsenal side, Mikel Arteta could achieve real success this season, including two trophy wins and a top four finish.
What do you make of this Boateng simulation?
Would you take the German defender at Arsenal in January?
Tell us in the comments below.