Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should buy back Ismael Bennacer?
Ismael Bennacer, 21, was one of the rare bright sparks for Empoli in an otherwise disappointing campaign which ended in relegation from Serie A. The French-born Algerian managed 37 appearances in the Serie A, bagging five assists in the process.
And the 21-year-old’s performances haven’t gone unnoticed, with Calciomercato claiming the likes of Genoa and Napoli also said to be interested. The report adds, however, Napoli have moved to the front of the queue for his signature, by preparing a €12m offer for Ismael Bennacer.
Interestingly, Bennacer was sold to Empoli after making just one senior appearance for Arsenal. But the North London club had inserted a buy-back clause into his contract while selling him to the Italian club in 2017. Given the Algerian international’s consistent performances for Empoli this past season, the time is ripe for the Gunners to exercise their buy-back clause and beat Napoli to Bennacer’s signature.
The Gunners will only have £40million to spend in the summer window after missing out on Champions League, following their Europa League final defeat to Chelsea. Unai Emery has a massive summer ahead of him, where changes need to happen for Arsenal to give them a strong chance of finishing inside the top-four next term.
Having conceded over 50 goals in the Premier League, it is imperative Emery shores up his backline first before moving onto achieving other targets. Bolstering the options in midfield is also a necessity, following the exit of Aaron Ramsey on a free transfer to Juventus. The Welshman’s departure has left Emery with Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny in midfield.
With Elneny set to depart, Arsenal need help in midfield and Emery must sign a player who is equally good in shielding the backline and creating chances in the final third. Thus, adding someone like Ismael Bennacer would make sense for the Gunners.
Bennacer ticks all the boxes. The 21-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade but he is equally adept at creating chances with his creative passing and distribution skills. He is a tireless worker in the middle of the park, renowned for breaking up opposition’s play and setting his team for the counter.
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The Algerian international has a good turn of pace, dribbling skills and technique, which when combined with his tenacity and energy makes him such an exciting player to watch. All in all, Bennacer would undoubtedly bolster Arsenal’s midfield ranks, whilst filling the void left by Ramsey.
At 21, Bennacer has a long way to go in his career. He has impressed in Empoli colours in Italy and has shown just why Arsenal would be right in bringing him back to the Emirates this summer.
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