According to reports from Spain (h/t football.london), Arsenal are still interested in a deal for Olympique Lyon superstar Houssem Aouar. The North London club were continuously linked with the Frenchman this summer but failed to orchestrate a move for the midfielder by the end of the transfer window.
A Lyon player through and through, Houssem Aouar has spent his entire professional career at the French club after he was promoted to the senior team back at the start of the 2016/17 season as an 18-year-old. This season, the midfielder has already made 7 appearances for the club and has contributed with 2 assists.
Could it now be time for the 23-year-old to jump ship to North London? Moreover, does Mikel Arteta need the Frenchman in his ranks?
Houssem Aouar to Arsenal would make a lot of sense
Since making his debut for Lyon in 2016, Aouar has gone on to make a massive 177 appearances for the French outfit, indicating that he has been a consistent figure in the midfield line for the club. The 23-year-old has also managed to score 32 goals and provide 33 assists in the process and also possess the experience of playing at the very top, evidenced by his 15 Champions League appearances.
Although 15 appearances in the UCL may not seem as much, it is more than a lot of the current Arsenal players. Moreover, Aouar was also a pivotal figure in Lyon reaching the UCL semi-final back in the 2019/20 season. Thus, the Frenchman is certainly a talented midfielder and already functions in a similar formation to that of the Gunners.
Arsenal and Lyon both function in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which would help the 23-year-old adjust to the team’s tactics. Although the Emirates outfit did sign Martin Odegaard this summer, the club needs quality depth in their squad to provide competition to bring the best out of each other.
Arsenal could hold the leverage in signing Aouar next summer
Although the Gunners failed to sign the 23-year-old this summer, the fact that his contract expires in 2023 means that Lyon would be in a precarious position with regards to his future next summer, as they would run the risk of losing him for free twelve months later if he does not sign a new deal. That, in turn, would hand Arsenal some leverage in negotiations.
Aouar would also make a good addition to Arteta’s young group of players. The club have invested smartly this summer by signing the likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale, and Martin Odegaard, especially since every player on the list is under the age of 24.
There is a good foundation at the Emirates now, and the 23-year-old Frenchman can only provide more impetus to this exciting project. Thus, given that Aouar is of a good age profile, possesses the quality to perform, and can be signed on a financially sensible fee, it would be a clever coup by the Gunners if they manage to get a deal over the line for the Lyon star.
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