Arsenal’s search for more creativity in their midfield continues and remains the main focus of this transfer window for the Gunners. There have been lots of names linked with a move to the Emirates, however the one that seems to never go away is Houssem Aouar of Lyon. Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal are still very keen on the young French playmaker and still see him as the “first target”. I think Arsenal really want a tricky midfielder who can start creating more from deep, meaning the likes of Saka and Aubameyang do not have to drop so deep to in order to get on the ball. Aouar fits this criteria perfectly and is a player with a real ability to control football games. Romano added that Arsenal “are convinced he would be perfect in their midfield”.
Naturally, the seemingly eternal issue with this move would be the asking price that Lyon have set. From what I understand, a move for Aouar is very unlikely this January unless we manage to meet that £54 million valuation. Even if we managed to sell all of our deadwood, it would be difficult to raise these kinds of funds. From what Ornstein said a few weeks ago, to do this deal we would need Kroenke to step in like he did for the Partey deal. Therefore, it is not categorically impossible for us to get this deal, however it would be a tricky one and one more likely to be revisited in the summer.
As such, Arteta has been trying to identify cheaper alternatives and has told the club that Riqui Puig of Barcelona is one he wants to bring in. He is one of Barcelona’s brightest young talents, however Barcelona could apparently be tempted to part ways as Ronald Koeman struggles to guarantee him first team football.
It would certainly be a really promising signing. He is a player with a really bright future and seems perfect considering he is at the same age as the likes of ESR, Saka and Martinelli. However, realistically it would only be a signing which makes sense alongside another, more experienced signing. It would be unfair on him to make him our only significant signing this January and expect him to immediately resolve all of our creativity issues. That being said, I do think he is a special talent with a bright future in football. He would be a great long-term replacement for Ceballos.
Photo: Steffen Prößdorf