Arsenal have already enjoyed a good transfer window, landing Pablo Mari, Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes. But Mikel Arteta wants more, with the Gunners readying a bid to land Houssem Aouar from Lyon. And Arsenal can ensure they woo the France international to the Emirates Stadium by offering him a role in their exciting project under Arteta.
Arsenal are admirers of Aouar, who impressed for Lyon last season as they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Many thought the Ligue 1 giants would struggle when they lost Nabil Fakir to Real Betis last year, 12 months after the France international had been on Liverpool’s radar.
But Aouar’s fine performances have meant the midfielder isn’t missed at the Groupama Stadium.
From 25 matches last season, the 22-year-old managed six goal involvements. He scored three times and also registered six assists.
He was particularly impressive in the Champions League, however, with his creative instincts clear for all to see as he clocked up six assists and scored once from eight matches.
Aouar flourished in the Coupe de France, too, scoring three goals from four matches.
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And it’s evident why Arsenal want him. The Gunners have seen Mesut Ozil tumble down Arteta’s pecking order and would love to sign the Lyon star as his replacement to compound an impressive transfer market.
Behind the scenes, Arsenal are readying a bid. One they hope will be successful and will result in the France international making a sensational move to north London.
Getting the bid accepted is only half the mission, though.
Aouar’s fine performances haven’t just roused the interest of Arteta. Pep Guardiola and Andrea Pirlo are both admirers, too.
Manchester City have so far resisted the urge to go after Aouar, with Guardiola inside focusing his efforts on signing a new centre-back to replace Vincent Kompany – who left last year.
Juventus have also moved their focus to different areas. Pirlo wants a striker and would love to pair Luis Suarez alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in attack, with the Barcelona star expected to depart.
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Arsenal, as things stand, have somewhat a free shot at Aouar.
But he knows City and Juventus admire him. Therefore, the Gunners may have to offer something exciting to win the race for his signature: a starring role in Arteta’s side.
The Spaniard has worked wonders during his short time at the Emirates helm. Arsenal have gone from being a ‘banter club’ to looking like a side who, at this rate, can climb up the English footballing pyramid sooner rather than later.
And that could be enough for Aouar to sign on the dotted line.
The prospect of playing alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubaneyang would be appealing, too. The Gabon international has signed a new contract at the Emirates Stadium and is very much in it for the long haul.
Likewise, Willian. The Brazil international is respected around the footballing world for his work done at Chelsea and has already made a blistering start to his Arsenal career, managing three assists on his debut.
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There’s no turmoil behind the scenes, either. Arsenal is a club at peace once again.
Nobody has objected to Arteta’s treatment of Ozil, which potentially speaks volumes about his standing in the dressing room.
And nobody has piped up about how hard the Spaniard has been on Matteo Guendouzi, either. In previous years, there could have been an outcry. Instead, things have changed.
All of that would make a move to Arsenal exciting for Aouar.
And the prospect of the 22-year-old playing alongside Aubameyang, Willian, Nicolas Pepe and Co. certainly has supporters dreaming.
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