Unai Emery’s Arsenal ended last season on a sour note, losing emphatically in the Europa League final to Chelsea, and missing out on nailing a top-four place in the league standings.
For many fans and pundits, these permutations weren’t all too surprising, given the shambolic nature of the squad, and the complete disarray of Stan Kroenke’s transfer policies.
Nevertheless, this summer presents the Spaniard with the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of his first season with the Gunners and build a team that reflects his own vision and style of play.
A playmaker is at the top of his transfer wish list, and the North London club has already been strongly linked with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
But with the Eagles demanding a hefty price-tag, the Gunners have instead turned their attention to a man that is currently operating at an absolute bargain, were Arsenal to snap him up: Nabil Fekir.
Most will probably remember the Frenchman for his part in the transfer saga that ensued with Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
The Frenchman had all but signed as a Reds player but was snubbed at the 11th hour during the medical because of a dodgy knee.
Now in the pursuit of a new challenge away from Lyon, with the fee that the team is asking for, Arsenal would be foolish not to pay the price and bring him to the Emirates.
We’ve taken a look at exactly how his inclusion will enhance the Gunner’s attack…
A Creative Forward
With Fekir playing in behind the likes of Alexandr Lacazette – his previous strike partner at Lyon – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Gunners attack would surely be completely transformed.
The guile and creativity that the forward provides, as evident in his performances in the French Ligue 1, has seen him rack up 25 goals and 17 assists in 79 appearances, which will make him all the more enticing to Emery and co.
This would be a particularly lucrative signing, both on the pitch and in our Premier League betting markets, given that arguably Arsenal’s most creative player, Aaron Ramsey, was allowed to complete his move to Juventus on a free transfer, while Mesut Ozil is a shell of his former, attacking self.
The Lyon ace could occupy the role both players were utilized in by Emery, effectively curating goalscoring chances and doing some real damage to opposition defenses.
Indeed, the Gunners will be hard-pressed to find a forward as creative as Fekir for the price tag he is operating at.
Prolific In Front Of Goal
Aside from his creative capabilities, another one of Fekir’s more attractive skills is his ability to consistently convert goalscoring chances.
Indeed, prior to the Liverpool saga, the Frenchman showcased this brilliantly, with 21 goals and nine assists to his name in a season where the 25-year-old was in red-hot form.
And he has often been able to finish his chances all over the pitch, whether it’s in the number 10 position, replacing Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan, or in a wider role.
Given that the Gunners have not had a consistent goal scorer in the attacking midfield area for some years now, signing Fekir will allow them to close that case and completely transform their offense.
And should he confirm his role as a full-time Gunner’s player, you’ll be able to read all about his performances under Emery at Arsenal on our football betting tips page.
As Versatile As They Come
As mentioned, the Lyon ace is able to play in multiple positions across the pitch, but alongside this, his performance and style of play also have many different facets.
His speed and strength on the ball make him a brilliant hold-up player, and yet, he is able to use those same attributes to drive at the heart of opposition defenses.
Unlike many of the Arsenal attacking players who have often been criticized for their lack of defensive contribution, Fekir also has a knack for tracking back and helping out the back four, when needed down the flanks.
He presents himself to Emery as an all-round player, whose physical prowess and technical ability make him suited to slot into a side like Arsenal.
Yet whether the Gunners do pay the 30 million price-tag, which you can read about on our Premier League transfer page, is still in contention, with rumors surrounding Zaha and other players still drifting around.
One thing is clear though, given what Fekir would bring to the team, and the tight budget that Emery is having to manage within, sealing the transfer of the Frenchman would be an absolute steal, given that Liverpool were ready to pay over 50 million in their initial transaction of the Lyon forward.