Arsenal are believed to be keen on making their first offer for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, according to The Sun. The Frenchman’s name was constant during the last summer window, as Arsenal desperately tried to acquire his services. However, both their bids were rejected by the French club who were believed to be holding out for a fee of £50-55m.
Due to the financial effect of the pandemic on the club, and failing to qualify for the Champions League, they are open to letting some of their prized assets go this summer. With a cash-strapped situation at the hands, Les Gones are reportedly willing to sell Houssem Aouar at a cut-price deal of £20 million.
That might raise the ears of the Arsenal board, who are keen to provide cover for their coveted attacking midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe. Although Aouar is not believed to be at the top of the list, his price tag might become an appealing factor for a club of limited resources.
The player himself looks open to a new adventure outside Lyon. Speaking before the French team’s last game of the season, Aouar admitted:
“This could be my last game for the club.”
Although the 22-year-old midfielder had an underwhelming campaign in France, he still ended up scoring eight goals and assisting four.
i can't stop watching this 😍. This is pure art from Houssem Aouar, welcome to Arsenal Ami.pic.twitter.com/kZA61RkxUg
— Saliba 🔴 🇵🇸 (@SalibaEra_) September 18, 2020
The price at which he is being quoted can prove to be a bargain given the current economic climate this summer, with boss Mikel Arteta hoping to buy smart instead of big during this window. Personally, I think acquiring Aouar instead of a more established midfielder, like the recently linked James Maddison, makes more sense.
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If Arsenal do end up spending a considerable fee on Maddison, he will be expected to play every match in the preferred position of Smith Rowe. But with Aouar, Mikel Arteta can be more flexible in rotating the Arsenal man with the Frenchman. The under-21 French International is also equally effective as a number eight.
But judging by their abilities, Maddison appears to be in his own league. He is Premier League proven, with arguably a higher ceiling than Aouar. Maddison is clearly someone who can change the Gunners’ economic status into first-class. That’s the reason why Arsenal fans went into a meltdown when the news of Maddison’s interest came out.
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