5 things Thomas Lemar will bring to Arsenal
Arsenal finished in the fifth position last season, their lowest league finish since Arsene Wenger took over as manager of the club two decades ago and that anomaly has prompted the Frenchman to delve into the transfer market and splash the cash, something the fans had hitherto accused him of not doing enough.
He has already boosted his squad with the addition of Bosnian defender, Sead Kolasinac and French striker Alexandre Lacazette, but he knows that just acquiring both players will not satiate the appetite of the fans and he is already on the hunt for another Frenchman, in the person of Monaco Winger Thomas Lemar. While teammates Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko may have garnered more headlines, Lemar has apparently impressed Arsene Wenger with his playmaking ability and versatility in midfield and I will give you five things the 21-year-old France International will bring to the Emirates.
He would be a perfect fit at Arsenal
There are reports making the rounds that one of Arsenal’s best midfielders, Santi Carzola will be out for the whole of next season and from an Arsenal point of view, Lemar could perhaps best be described as some sort of direct replacement for the Spaniard. He is slightly taller than the Spaniard and as equally proficient at starting attacks from deep inside his own half as he is at delivering the last defense-splitting pass in the final third. In Wenger’s traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, Lemar could either take over Cazorla’s role as the deeper-lying playmaker with a licence to roam forward or play on the left wing, but if Wenger decides to stick with the formation he finished last season with, three at the back, Lemar might struggle to displace Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez as one of the two attacking midfielders, however, that might change if one or both players leave the club.
He’s the ‘Steal’
Thomas Lemar was snapped up for just £3.5 million from Caen in 2015 with just one goal in 32 appearances for the lowly Ligue 1 side and has proven to be a fantastic investment for Monaco, who have built their recent success on getting young talents on the cheap and guiding them as they blossom into world beaters (something that used to be Arsene Wenger’s forte). He is currently valued at around £45m by Monaco, who are trying to take advantage of Arsenal’s desperation and get the most they can for him, however, even at that prize, he is still going to be a bargain buy if you put into consideration his age and the current inflation in the transfer market. There is also the potential he possesses and if he fulfills it then it will definitely be a ‘steal’ for Arsenal.
Another thing about this young Frenchman is his versatility which will come in handy for Arsenal. He can play either as a central midfielder or on the wing and Arsene Wenger greatly values a player that can be used in a variety of positions. He was excellent on the left wing in Monaco’s 4-4-2 formation, drifting into the centre at any given opportunity. He isn’t the fastest player on the pitch but possesses an array of skills and amazing footwork which he uses in creating space for himself. He also thinks quickly on his feet and uses that quick decision-making to pick out the right pass for teammates.
He scores and creates chances
One thing that has been the hallmark of Arsene Wenger’s career as a manager of Arsenal is his ability to always have midfielders who can both create and score goals in his squad and he will be getting another of such in Lemar, who has proven he’s adept at both. He found the net 14 times in all competitions for Monaco last season and led the French league with 10 assists while setting up another four goals in Monaco’s impressive Champions League campaign. He averaged 2.2 key passes per game in the league, the fourth highest among all players, using his magical left foot to create chances for teammates from all over the pitch.
He loves to terrorise Tottenham
If there is something Arsenal fans love almost as much as seeing their club succeed, it is seeing the most hated rival, Tottenham Hotspur fail and that is something that Lemar has already done with his Monaco team, as they made sure the spurs didn’t qualify from their UCL group last season. To make it better, he scored the winning goal against Tottenham, TWICE. He scored Monaco’s second goal in both 2-1 victories over Spurs in last season’s Champions’ League group meetings and it was made sweeter that his winning goal in November that knocked Tottenham out of the competition. Those goals have already endeared him to the Arsenal fans and if he joins the club this summer and continues performing well against Spurs, he would be a fan favourite faster than how Arsenal’s campaign have ended in the UCL in recent seasons.
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