Why Thomas Lemar could add that X-Factor to Arsenal’s attack
The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to North London back in 2018 when he was impressing for Monaco in the Ligue 1 but Atletico Madrid eventually forked out a staggering £53 million to beat Arsenal in the race to sign the highly-rated attacker. (h/t Mirror)
Lemar went on to enjoy a decent debut season at the Wanda Metropolitano, accumulating 3 goals and 3 assists in 31 La Liga outings for the Los Rojiblancos but the Frenchman has failed to register a single goal contribution in 15 league appearances so far this term.
As per the report, Atletico could look to get him off the books in January if the right offer is put on the table and newly-appointed Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has now set his sights on the 24-year-old as a part of his rebuilding job in North London.
Lemar, who was a part of France’s 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning squad in Russia last year, initially made his mark in Ligue 1 with Caen before earning a move to Monaco in 2015.
The midfielder was instrumental in Monaco’s triumphant Ligue 1 campaign during the 2016-17 season and an overall tally of 22 goals and 33 assists in 127 appearances paved the way for a big-money move away from his homeland for the first time in his career.
However, things seem to have gone completely astray for Lemar this term at Atletico after a promising debut season in the La Liga.
Arsenal will require a herculean effort in the second half of the campaign to harbour hopes of making a much-awaited return to the Champions League and Arteta clearly has his work cut out, with plenty of gaping holes to plug in multiple areas of the pitch.
Arsenal might well be operating under a long-term strategy under Arteta but they will most certainly need to dip into the January window to at least plug some of the gaps.
To put things into perspective, lack of creativity in the middle of the park has been one of the many reasons behind Arsenal’s downslide this season and a versatile creative ace like Thomas Lemar could well be the man to answer the club’s prayers.
While Matteo Guendouzi has undoubtedly been one of the brightest sparks in what has otherwise been a terrible first half of the campaign for Arsenal, the likes of Lucas Torreira, Joe Willock, Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos just haven’t offered enough.
As a result, Arsenal have found themselves bereft of ideas in the final third more often than not and have simply relied on the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette to bail them out with moments of individual brilliance.
The club’s position in the bottom half of the table clearly indicates that such an approach hasn’t paid off well and the Gunners surely can’t live with such mediocrity if they are to push on for greater heights.
Lemar, who is capable of playing in a No.10 role behind the striker and also on either flank as a creative wide player due to his short stature and low centre-of-gravity, could be the man to add that much-needed spark to Arsenal’s rather lifeless and pedestrian attack.
Things might not have clicked for Thomas Lemar at Atletico Madrid this season but he continues to be an excellent all-round creative player and a proven performer in the Champions League, having played a key role in Monaco’s march to the semi-finals during the 2016-17 season.
Plus, of course, the Frenchman still has his best years ahead of him at 24 and he could well be worth a significant outlay in the January window for the Gunners, who need to look at players who can possibly offer good value for money in the market.
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Having said that, Arsenal completing a move for Thomas Lemar in January could set them up nicely for a rebuilding job under Mikel Arteta.