With questions of Mesut Ozil’s long-term future at the club, or at least until he signs what’s expected to be a new contract this summer, Arsenal is apparently looking to relieve worries surrounding midfield creativity by targeting and bidding for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
Breaking | Arsenal have submitted an offer worth well over €30m for Monaco's Thomas Lemar, according to L'Équipe.— Get French Football (@GFFN) June 28, 2017
Now, Arsenal isn’t the only club to have been linked to Lemar this summer. Rumors of a transfer to nefarious rivals Spurs have lingered for weeks and Atletico Madrid was also linked to the player last summer. However, it would appear that Arsenal is pushing the hardest to secure the services of the 21-year-old playmaker.
Thomas Lemar, Monaco 16-17. Approaching elite creative numbers at a very young age. Skeptical on the 25M price tag, but if so... pic.twitter.com/7TEV69h93P— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) May 29, 2017
Though Lemar isn’t exactly a perfect fit in the 3421 system Arsenal rolled out to close the season, his skill and growth is undeniable. Yes, a number of his assists came on set pieces and crosses in transition but he’s fast, he’s got a good eye for a killer pass and he’s young enough to keep growing as a player.
Additionally, though Monaco was a rampant goal-scoring buzzsaw that netted against virtually everyone last season, it’s encouraging to see that Lemar was a decisive player in some of the biggest games last season as his goal and assist tallies versus top competition didn’t drop off compared to his performances against weaker sides.
Plus he scored two winners versus Tottenham in the Champions League group stage, so there.
Thomas Lemar in Ligue 1 for Monaco last season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 28, 2017
Most chances created (72)
Most assists (10)
Master creator. pic.twitter.com/pjuy1ceQXi
In today’s inflated market €30m for someone who contributed 14 goals and 17 assists for a Champions League semifinalist is an absurdly good deal. It remains to be seen if this rumor is reality and if an “offer worth well over €30m” will be enough , but if it is then this transfer would be a coup for Arsene Wenger and a fanbase itching for an injection of talent.
UPDATE 9.15AM PT: Monaco have turned down Arsenal’s offer, which was €35 million (£30.74M), and reiterated that the winger is not for sale. I guess we will see whether that’s final or just a negotiating ploy from Monaco if Arsenal return with an improved bid.