Arsenal in advanced talks over Houssem Aouar transfer
According to Spanish outlet Todofichajes (h/t The Mirror), Arsenal are in advanced negotiations over a potential transfer for Houssem Aouar. The Olympique Lyonnaise midfielder has been a long-term target for the Gunners. And he could finally seal a move to the Emirates this summer.
He was influential in Les Gones‘ top-4 finish this season and a price of £30million is being quoted for the central midfielder. The Gunners are in need of men in midfield, and here we look at why signing the French midfielder makes a lot of sense for Arsenal as they prepare for the season ahead.
Arsenal are in desperate need of midfielders
There is set to be a mass exodus of central midfielders from Arsenal before the next season starts. From midfielders at Arsenal returning to their parent clubs, to a number of current midfielders being linked with a move away, Mikel Arteta has a lot going on in that regard. Let us see who all are set for an exit in the summer.
According to ESPN, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard are set to return to Real Madrid for the next season. The Spanish central midfielder was signed on loaned last summer while the Norwegian playmaker joined up with the Arsenal squad in the January transfer window. But the duo is now all set for a return to Spain.
Apart from that, The Mirror report that Granit Xhaka has been heavily linked with a move to AS Roma, while Matteo Guendouzi could be off to Portuguese side SL Benfica after a fallout with Arteta. To make matters worse, dynamic midfielder Lucas Torreira has also been linked with a move to a Serie A side in SS Lazio.
Does it stop there? No. Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, two players who were out on loan last season at Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion respectively, are also linked with potential exits by The Express. Now, this is an alarming situation for any club, let alone Arsenal.
Aouar is a potential solution for Arsenal
With so, so many midfielders linked with exits, Houssem Aouar of Lyon seems to be a potentially good addition for the Premier League club at the moment. The 22-year-old central midfielder is a regular for Lyon and has ample first-team experience playing in Ligue 1 as well as the UEFA Champions League. He can also play in multiple positions.
The youngster is capable of playing as a No.10, as a defensive midfielder, and even on the left flank. This sort of versatility would help Arteta cover a number of holes that are showing up in his team. Not just that, but at the age of 22, he is still developing and has his prime years ahead of him.
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The fee mentioned above is also less than some of the other options Arsenal are exploring in that position. For instance, Wolves star Ruben Neves can cost them around £34million while Franck Kessie of AC Milan is valued at approximately £42million. In that regard, Aouar’s price tag is not something that is a financial oddity.