Why Arsenal must pursue Houssem Aouar in the future and not let their interest die
Houssem Aouar was a subject of strong interest from Arsenal throughout the transfer window. The club relentlessly pursued the midfielder but had multiple bids knocked back for not meeting the price set by Lyon. In the end, the 22-year-old decided to stay back and continue to play for the French side (source – Metro).
Houssem Aouar joined Lyon’s academy at the age of 11 and spent another 11 years representing the club at various age groups. He rose through the youth ranks of the club to make his debut in 2017 against AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of round-of-32 of the Europa League. A week later, he scored his debut goal for Lyon against the same side in the 2nd leg.
The following season, he was given the iconic number 8 jersey, previously worn by club legend Juninho. Since then, he has been a first-team regular. He has made over 140 appearances so far for Lyon and has scored 24 goals in the process (source – Transfermarkt)
Aouar has played 14 games for the France U-21 side and was in line to make his debut for the senior side before testing positive for COVID.
Why Arsenal should continue their pursuit of Aouar
Arsenal have been on the up ever since Mikel Arteta took over the managerial reins. The club finally look like they are heading in the right direction with a good brand of football and smart bits of business off the field.
Amidst all that progress, there seems to be an area that can use a lot of improvement. The midfield looks like it needs a huge boost with some new names. Dani Ceballos is a decent creative outlet and Granit Xhaka is the tough tackler. However, there is literally no one in the squad who can carry the ball to advanced positions or hold the ball under pressure.
Houssem Aouar would be the perfect man for the job. His neat dribbling, ability to get out of pressure situations with the ball and providing balls into the final third, all while maintaining a good level of defensive stance are just some of the things one can admire about him.
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Whatever Arsenal do, they cannot let Aouar slip from their hands. He is one of the best emerging midfielders in Europe and proved the same with his performances for Lyon during last season. Arsenal need to sell players like Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to boost their cash reserve.
They need to cut their losses in any way they can to produce the funds required for Aouar. His addition would improve the Gunners’ midfield exponentially.