Arsenal don’t appear to be happy with just one major signing this summer, with Arsene Wenger reportedly keen to build on the recent capture of Alexandre Lacazette by adding another French star to his squad. Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar has been on Wenger’s radar for much of the summer, with Arsenal making an unsuccessful bid for the France international earlier in the transfer window. The versatile midfielder has caught the eye during two impressive seasons at Monaco after his move from Caen, breaking into the French national side and establishing himself as one of Ligue 1’s hottest prospects.
At 21, Lemar was a crucial part of Monaco’s title-winning campaign last year. Playing predominantly on the left wing, the youngster scored nine goals and produced 10 assists in 34 appearances in the league. As has been the case with a number of players that have spent time at Monaco, though, the Ligue 1 champions will be well aware that they could be forced to sell their star player should a bigger club come knocking. While the French side are believed to be holding out for close to £80 million, they could be tempted to cash in should the Gunners come back with an offer nearer the £50 million.
Having spent a club-record £52 million on Lacazette, shelling out a similar fee again would come as a huge shock to Arsenal fans who have grown used to watching on as the club failed to attract top players due to their transfer policy. While the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and even Tottenham currently have shorter title odds than Arsenal’s 11/1 in the latest football betting, that could change if Wenger can add another genuine world class player to his squad between now and the start of the new Premier League campaign. In Lemar, Arsenal would be signing a player who has attracted interest from a host of the biggest clubs in Europe, and a further sign that the Gunners really mean business next season.
While there is no guarantee that spending over £100 million will bring success, those Arsenal fans that were less than happy about the prospect of Wenger signing a new contract in May will feel the club have done something they have failed to do for over a decade in sending out a statement to the rest of the league. In Lacazette, the club have signed a proven prolific striker, and someone who should be scoring the 20-plus goals that Arsenal haven’t had from their forwards in recent years. Lemar might not have proven himself in the same way as Lacazette has yet, but the youngster would be a great signing and just the sort of player this team needs.
One thing is for sure, though: even if the Gunners fail to sign Lemar, the way they have approached this summer transfer window has certainly been refreshing for Arsenal fans. And with over a month before it closes, there is still time for more exciting additions to this squad. Whether it translates into a real push for the title remains to be seen, but there will be a belief about the new season that hasn’t been at the club for a long time.