Another day with another transfer rumour on the air. As usual, it is Arsenal linking up with a midfielder. According to reports from Mirror, the Gunners are weighing up moves for the Algerian Yacine Brahimi from Porto. The 28-year-old is going to terminate his contract with the Portuguese side and would be a free agent in this summer.
Arsenal had already spoken with the player’s agents and looking for the player to sign a pre-contract agreement with the club this month. Premier League clubs like Manchester United and Everton are also running along with the Gunners to tie up the attacking midfielder. Considering the limited budget of Arsenal and lack of creative players in the squad, the 28 year old would serve to be a fine addition to the team in the summer.
Yacine Brahimi started his senior career in Rennes and later they sent him to Ligue 2 side Clermont on a loan deal. In 2010, he returned back to Rennes despite the strong interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid back then. He scored six goals in twenty-three appearances for the French side. On 2014, Porto announced his signing for a reported sum of £5m, which is where he made a name for himself.
The Algerian is having a terrific season so far with Porto. He has scored seven goals and assisted six in a total of 25 matches. His contribution behind the run of Porto in the Champions League is priceless as the Portuguese side have finished top in the group stage. Yacine Brahimi has a total of 44 goals in 149 matches for Porto.
Emery can use Yacine Brahimi either as a midfielder or as a winger. The 28-year-old is blessed with splendid dribbling and can tear up defences with his pace. His through balls and passing are a sight for eyes. Yacine Brahimi has recently quite evidently showcased his class by scoring four goals in the last six matches. However, the Algerian is not a clinical finisher and it is his profligacy in front of the goal which is considered as one of his biggest drawbacks.
Even though he brings quality to the attack, his contribution to defence is very much less. The midfielder often fails to track back and tackle the opponent in order to break up the counters. Emery might just have to give him a free role considering his weakness in the defence, something which he has so far been unable to accord to the German star Mesut Ozil.
Injuries have also played a big part in the recent form for Arsenal. Key players like Holding, Mkhitaryan, and Welbeck are out of the squad with long term injuries. With Ramsey nearing an exit from Emirates and Ozil’s future hanging in the air, Yacine Brahimi could very well prove to be the saviour for the Gunners.
Ozil-Emery saga once again flared up as Emery left the German out of the squad against West Ham. Fans went crazy after seeing the match day squad as the German didn’t even make up the bench. Obviously it is not at all the right way to handle one of the best players in your squad at a time when his presence on the pitch could have made all the difference.
There is something really fishy happening behind the scenes between Emery and Ozil and if Ozil is not in Emery’s plan anymore, then utilising a player like Yacine Brahimi, whom they can very well grab on a free, is the least that Arsenal can do to make up for the Ozil sized hole in Arsenal’s midfield.
While Arsenal most certainly have a number of upcoming and extremely youngsters like the likes of Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka in their ranks, they still need many a seasons yet to gain necessary experience and establish themselves in the hardships of Premier League.
There are also rumours linking Denis Suarez of Barcelona with the Gunners. But Emery made it clear that the Arsenal board is currently facing a financial struggle and are not able to sign anyone permanently this window. Hence given the financial situation in the club, Yacine Brahimi could very well be the right man that Arsenal should look to target at the earliest.