We signed Julian Brandt for Arsenal in the January transfer window with interesting results – Football.London

We signed Julian Brandt for Arsenal in the January transfer window with interesting results – Football.London

Arsenal hold an interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Julian Brandt this month, with the 24-year-old said to be winning the join the Gunners should a deal be struck.

German publication BILD have previously reported that Dortmund would be willing to let Brandt leave on loan, should a lucrative offer be made this month, but the same report suggests that the Bundesliga side aren’t willing to sanction a permanent move.

The former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was a key player for Dortmund last season, scoring three goals and registering seven assists in 33 league appearances, of which 25 of those were starts. However, Brandt has made just six starts in the Bundesliga for Dortmund in 2020/21 and is yet to score.

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So, what if Arsenal did manage to pull off the signing of Brandt in the January transfer window? And, what kind of impact could he have at the club?

To have a bit of fun and try to predict the future, we used the newly-released Football Manager 2021 to see what could happen.

We ‘signed’ Julian Brandt for Arsenal in January 2021

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Borussia Dortmund winger Julian Brandt to join Arsenal in the January 2021 transfer window, using the newly-released FM21 to run our simulation.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.

This is how Brandts’s profile looks on Football Manager 2021.

We then simulated the entire 2020/21 season on the game, to see what kind of impact Brandt could have at the Emirates Stadium from January.

Here’s what happened!

Julian Brandt‘s 2020/21 season for Arsenal

With Arteta sticking with his favoured 3-4-3 formation throughout the campaign, Brandt’s arrival in January was bad news for Alexandre Lacazette, with the winger mostly playing off the left in the front three, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moving into the central striking position.

Let’s take a look at Brandt’s stats.

The German winger scored five goals and three assists in 27 appearances in all competitions, of which all of those were starts.

His average match rating of 6.99 suggests that the winger had a decent if unspectacular season, with his xG of 8 also suggesting his finishing was slightly below par.

Let’s compare Brandt’s output with the rest of the Gunners squad, to put the Dortmund forward’s season in perspective.

The 24-year-old created less chances than Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Aubameyang and Willian, with his creativity being a bit of a disappointment, with his goal scoring also nothing to shout about.

However, the fact that Aubameyang scored 28 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions suggests that Brandt, and the rest of his attacking teammates, helped create space for the striker who had an outstanding season.

Despite a below par half-season at Arsenal, Brandt still made the Gunners best statistical eleven with his output higher than Lacazette, despite playing far fewer games.

Arsenal’s best team at the end of the 2020/21 season was as follows; Leno; Chambers, Mari, Gabriel; Tierney, Ceballos, Partey, Bellerin; Brandt, Aubameyang, Willian.

So, with how did Arsenal perform in all competitions in our simulated season with Brandt in the side?

Here is how the final 2020/21 PL table looked in our simulation.

The Gunners recovered from their slow start to secure a fifth place Premier League finish, finishing just three points behind Spurs in fourth place, which is pretty impressive.

And their points total was significantly higher than last season, earning 69 points from 38 games, 13 points more than the 56 points they managed in the real-life 2019/20 campaign.

Football Manager predicts that although Brandt may not have a transformational impact on the Arsenal team on his own, his arrival could lead to Aubameyang moving into a central position, with the Gabonese striker helping to fire the club to a respectable league finish.

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As always these simulations are just one way of predicting a player’s prospective impact, but it’s interesting to see how Brandt could perform in the Premier League for Arsenal, if the winger did sign for Arteta’s side in January!

Football Manager (FM) is the world’s leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is out now on PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch and Xbox.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.