A familiar name has emerged as a target for Arsenal in this transfer window. I covered a possible move for Lyon skipper Nabil Fakir around a year ago, when Arsenal were looking to inject new faces into it’s lacklustre side.
Nothing much has changed at the Emirates in the following 12 months, money is still an issue but Fakir’s price has dropped to a reasonably affordable £30m if you believe recent reports.
However, it’s a story that has been given a new lease of life as Arsenal look for bargains, but there isn’t much evidence that it has any more credibility than it had last time around.
In a slightly confused piece by The Mirrors Liam Prenderville, he claimed:
“Arsenal are interested in former Liverpool target Nabil Fekir”
Yet further down, he added
“L’Equipe claims Arsenal are still deciding whether to make a formal offer for Fekir with any transfer depending on their ability to sell current players.”
Then in a masterstroke of artistic journalism, he brings Mesut Ozil into the non-story:
“It is suggested any deal for Fekir will hinge on whether Arsenal can offload Mesut Ozil.”
So what does Fakir bring to the table ?
He’s someone who loves to attack. He is blessed with the balance of a gymnast and the speed of a sprinter. The Frenchman can also supply crosses from the left or right flanks.
He has a great left foot, which can strike a ball sweetly, especially from a free kick, thus providing greater scoring opportunities from a dead ball situation. Fakir also loves to dribble and any avenue will do, either past or around or through a defender, it makes absolutely no difference.
He is also someone that can strike from range and isn’t afraid to do so.
In short, the player is not the same but similar, to Mo Salah and that’s perhaps why Liverpool had shown interest in him.
Fekir is ready for ‘a new challenge’, according to Lyon manager Bruno Génésio. Speaking to French Radio, he said:
“ I think that he [Fekir] was very frustrated with his cancelled transfer to Liverpool at the beginning of the season.”
“He made the World Cup, he had some injuries. He certainly did not feel strong enough to take on the role of leader, which he had done the previous season, relaying technical information on the pitch”
“Nabil is coming to the end of a cycle in Lyon. He has experienced a lot of things here. I think that he needs a new challenge, to push his limits, and to be self-critical. Because we know, we always need a personal challenge in a career, and to ask questions of ourselves”
Elsewhere, Zaha mania seems to be cooling as the gunners look for cheaper options such as Real Madrid star Lucas Vazquez (28). Madrid are looking to clear the decks and gather funds to tempt Paul Pogba to pack his suitcase and head to Spain and this could help all three clubs.
For Arsenal, it’s a relatively straight forward cash only deal and could be struck with the usual installment plan plus bonus payments over three years, which will allow Zidane to use the proposed fee towards the acquisition of United’s misfit Frenchman.