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Just Who Is Arsenal Target Diego Carlos – Scout Report


A new name who has been circulating the rumour pages as a potential Arsenal recruit this summer, is Diego Carlos of Sevilla. The Brazilian centre back is a calm, cool and composed modern centre back, who seemingly has all the credentials of what Mikel Arteta would want in an Arsenal player.

This report will aim to analyse Diego Carlos and decipher the potential Arsenal target. The report will also look to compare Carlos against other rumoured Arsenal targets, Nicolas Elvedi, Malang Sarr and Axel Disasi.


Diego Carlos is a Brazilian central defender, currently playing for Sevilla FC in Spain. The 27 year old, born in Barra Bonita, Brazil, started his career at Desportivo Brasil, before joining FC Sao Paulo on loan in January of 2013. Carlos then spent the back end of the 2013-14 season at Paulista FC on loan, before joining Madureira-RJ in a month long loan deal. Moving on a free transfer, Carlos joined Portuguese outfit Estoril in July of 2014. He then proceeded to spend the 2014-15 season on loan at Porto B, before returning to Estoril. In total, Carlos made 31 appearances for Estoril between 2014 and 2016. In June 2016, Carlos joined Nantes for £1.17 million. Carlos went on to make 97 appearances for Nantes, which earned him a move to Sevilla. The deal to take Carlos to Sevilla cost £13.5 million.

The 6”1 defender, signed a contract with Sevilla in 2019, ending in the June of 2024. Currently, Transfermarkt value Carlos at £28.80 million. So far this season, Carlos has made 33 appearances, racking up 3098 minutes. Its clear Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui is fond of Carlos, given he was Porto manager when Carlos was a Porto B loanee.

Style of Play

Diego Carlos is the centre back Arsenal fans have been crying out for. His all action, aggressive play style, coupled with a sleek, precise passing ability, shows technical excellence and a passion for defending married together. Carlos, is a player who very rarely gets caught in two minds. He is more than happy to break from the defensive line and take responsibility at the right moment to halt an attack. His reading of the game is excellent and sees him block, header and make timely tackles with imperious efficiency, on a regular basis.

Carlos much prefers to pass the ball out from the back, rather than dribble into midfield. This is shown through his 10 dribbles so far this season, of which he has completed 7. In fact, Carlos only attempts 0.17 progressive runs per 90 minutes. He does however play 8.42 progressive passes per 90 minutes. This shows Carlos to be a player who is happy watching the game play out in front of him, rather than dribbling into congested chaos.


Diego Carlos averages 10.95 recoveries per 90 minutes. For La Liga centre backs, this ranks him 38th. Furthermore, he has made 5.09 counter pressing recoveries per 90 minutes, which ranks him 27th  and in all competitions, he has made 165 interceptions. This averages as 4.79 per 90 minutes. Carlos has an innate ability to execute sliding tackles in pressure moments. Of his 19 this season, he has successfully made 63%  of them, showing great timing and accuracy. At 6”1, Carlos is very adept aerially. In all competitions, Carlos has made 4.56 aerial duels per 90 minutes. In total, he has made 157 aerial duels, winning 56%. All together this season, Carlos has made 145 defensive duels, winning 65.51%.

Is Carlos the man to lead Arsenal to glory

This bar graph compares Diego Carlos, Nicolas Elvedi, Malang Sarr and Axel Disasi across several defensive metrics. It’s clear to see all 4 options are relatively similar in their defensive output. Elvedi, is shown to be the most efficient defender, however Carlos is not far behind. It’s clear to see that these potential Arsenal recruits are all of a similar profile, quality and pedigree.


Build-up Play

Aside from defending, a large part of Diego Carlos’ game, is his on the ball ability and contribution to the team during possession. A way of measuring a players impact during possession is expected goals chain per 90 minutes. This measures the likelihood of a goal-scoring opportunity for every instance of possession a player is involved in. Diego Carlos records a 0.36. To put this in perspective, only Elvedi betters Carlos, recording a 0.39 during these possession sequences. Sarr’s 0.31 is somewhat symptomatic of his sheer passing volume, whilst Disasi’s has a low 0.10 which could be down to the low number of goals Reims have scored this season (26 in Ligue 1 this season).

Another metric which will help understand Carlos’ contribution during possession, is expected goals build-up play per 90 minutes. This is essentially the expected goals per 90 minutes, excluding key passes and shots. Carlos this time records 0.25,  Both Elvedi and Sarr better Carlos with 0.36 and 0.29 respectively. Again, Disasi somewhat struggles with 0.11.

Could Carlos lead Arsenal to glory?

The graph directly compares all 4 players and their impact in possession sequences. Carlos very much keeps up with Elvedi and Sarr, whilst Disasi somewhat languishes in fourth. These scores are influenced heavily by the teams play style and season statistics. Sevilla are 3rd in La Liga, averaging 55.3% possession and have scored 42 league goals. Elvedi’s Monchengladbach have only averaged 51.7% possession, but have scored 61 goals in the league. This explains whilst Elvedi has a high XGChain number. It’s because he is involved in more sequences which have been finished off as goals and high scoring chances. It does show though, that Carlos, without being in a team scoring lots of goals, influences attacking moves which end with lots of shots and key passes. Perhaps his figure isn’t any higher due to a lack of finishing quality at Sevilla.


It’s clear that Mikel Arteta is looking for centre backs who have a ball playing style. This season, Carlos has made 1662 passes with an 87.96% accuracy. Of Carlos’ 1662 total passes this season, 39.41% have been forward. Moreover, on average Carlos plays 8.42 progressive passes per 90 minutes. This shows how comfortable he is playing through midfield and into his teammates. Staggeringly, Carlos has made 234 long passes, completing 54.7%. This is truly a unique selling point, which few defenders have.  Negatively, whilst Carlos has received 1157 passes from his teammates this season, showing their confidence in him, he has lost the ball on average 6.01 times per 90 minutes. In comparison to Elvedi, he only losses the ball 4.84 times per 90 minutes. Sarr a similar 6.2 times per 90 minutes and Disasi 7.27.

Does Carlos fulfil Arsenal’s criteria?

Arsenal need a player who is both capable on and off the ball. Carlos must be able to deal with the defensive rigours posed in the Premier League whilst maintaining his composure on the ball. His passing volume and build-up play numbers show that he is confident and capable on the ball. It is promising that he has a high expected goals build-up number and with better forwards, such as those at Arsenal, his contribution could be very important. It’s common to see Arsenal under Arteta dominate possession as they look to breakdown their opponents. This, therefore, makes individual contributions at any point in a possession phase vital. The more effective at any point during the sequence of possession, the better.

Defensively, Carlos could easily deal with the quality in the Premier League. He is strong, relatively quick and doesn’t shy away from a hard tackle. Carlos also has the steely determination and leadership profile of a true warrior. Maybe his time at many different clubs at varying ages gave him invaluable experience and has made him a tough competitor. Carlos would be someone who could lead Arsenal with his heart on his shirt and take no prisoners. Finally, Arsenal would have a defender who doesn’t duck out of challenges and is willing to die for the cause.


In conclusion, Carlos could be exactly what Arsenal need. Whilst he has no club trophies to his name, Carlos’ long journey at many different clubs has helped build him to become a real leader. On the pitch he shows his aggression and bravery in defence, however tempers his emotions when on the ball. This allows him to play precise delicate passes to his teammates. His influence in possession only gets marred by a lack of quality in the forward positions at Sevilla. At Arsenal, he will be playing with a higher quality of player who can finish spells of possession, ruthlessly.

Out of the four players mentioned, Carlos is the joint best all-rounder, with Nicolas Elvedi. Both players are very similar, however the fire and sheer unrelenting desire to win, would make Carlos an instant fan favourite, I’m sure.


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