According to the Metro, Arsenal have been offered a ‘cut-price’ deal for French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.
The Lyon star has been linked with a move to the North Londoners several times in the past but, now 28 years of age with a history of injuries, there are likely to be some serious reservations about whether he would be a worthwhile singing for Arsene Wenger.
Although the Gunners boss has been admirer of the player in the past, his career has taken somewhat of a downward turn in recent years. He could be available for around £3 million, which is indeed very cheap but, given his high wage demands (reportedly £4 million annually) would make him cheap to buy but expensive to keep.
Arsenal brought in Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski in the summer and, although additional depth and quality in all areas of the squad wouldn’t do the Gunners any harm, another attacking midfielder is not an area they so obviously need to improve – they surely need another striker and a defensive midfielder, maybe even another left-back first.
He is, however, a player of exceptional quality – his passing and control are exquisite and he has been described in the past by David Ginola as the best French player of his generation.
But Ginola’s comments were made more than 2 years ago (October 2010) and came after he won French Player of the Year in 2009. Since then Arsene Wenger has himself expressed his concerns over the player’s injury history. He has yet to play for Lyon this season after suffering a knee injury. He was also ruled out of the entire 2011/12 season with an ankle complaint that required surgery.
"I was interested. Then I learned of his medical condition," said the manager recently.
Arsenal are no strangers to injury-proneness – Abou Diaby, and Tomas Rosicky have been through the worst of ‘niggling’ and recurrent injuries in their careers along with Welsh youngster Aaron Ramsey and England starlet Jack Wilshere.
Is another highly talented attacking midfielder with injury problems really what Arsenal need? I’m inclined to suggest that, even at £3 million, Arsenal should steer well clear of this transfer. In this instance ‘bargain’ actually means ‘risk’.
image: © y.caradec