I know there’s a shortage of genuine football news, which in turn increases transfer speculation in the absence of anything else, but it’s now got to the point where sports journalists are having to familiarise themselves with past transfer targets and include them in the present. One of these speculations surrounds Nabil Fekir coming to the Premier League.
The Sun has revealed that Nabil Fekir is on Arsenal’s wanted list…..again, just like he was last season and the season before that. This merely confirms that the paper is just rehashing old stories or that the transfer targets and deals are being made by someone other than the coach.
Fekir was mentioned in connection with Unai Emery and now Mikel Arteta, do they both like the same player? I doubt it. That implies that Raul Sanllehi is identifying the players and sealing the deals with no input from the coach, which is certainly no surprise to anyone who follows Arsenal.
Most of the people who read my regular blogs will know I’m not entirely convinced that Raul is the right man for the job and all the time Arsenal are floundering outside the top four, I’ll assume my suspicions are correct. The Spanish head of football is certainly an upgrade on Gazidis, but not by much and it remains to be seen how he gets on when Josh Kroenke arrives at the Emirates and unpacks his suitcase.
I hear they’ve already organised a new nameplate for the office door of Sir Chips Keswick. Of course, it should be quite entertaining watching the show unfold, but it could also prove to be yet another unwanted distraction off the pitch, something Arsenal are rather good at.
Anyway, back to Fekir, who was allegedly on the verge of signing for Liverpool in 2018 according to the Guardian and again a year later – The Express.
Nabil Fekir would be a welcome influence and addition without question. Arsenal’s midfield is disjointed and at times dismal. The Frenchman would act as the heart of the side and going forward.
He is quick, well balanced, and can deliver pinpoint crosses from either flank. He also happens to be good in a dead ball situation from short or long distances but hold on, there are great opportunities to be had in the Premier League.
What Arsenal fan would turn down Rúben Neves (Wolves) for £36m, Ayoze Perez (Newcastle) for £21.6m or Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) for £18m.
As good as Nabil Fekir undoubtedly is, Arsenal are way behind the curve in competing at the top level domestically and in Europe, so they need a player that already has the credentials in the Premier League. I doubt Arsenal are going to bid for Fekir although, he’s not overpriced at around £28m, he is a name that we are all familiar with but one which the club will probably overlook.
We haven’t heard the last of him that’s for sure and although I was keen on Fekir to replace Aaron Ramsey on his departure, I feel that door has closed unless a considerable chunk of his transfer fee is missing.
In light of the pandemic, the transfer market will be hard to predict. A place for bargains? Or business as usual? We won’t know until football resumes and the revenue streams become available.