I have discussed the 20-year-old attacking midfield player twice this summer in relation to the Gunners – in relation to replacing Gervinho and as a potential alternative to Lyon’s Clement Grenier who Arsenal were chasing earlier on this summer.
Thauvin may not be a household name just yet but he does have the talent and potential to become one for the future. He scored 13 goals and made 4 assists in all club competitions last term on loan at Bastia and added another 5 goals to his tally in international friendly with France.
He has previously been linked with a move to the Emirates prior to his €3.5 million switch to Lille only in January of this year but the quality of this player may have caught the attention of Arsene Wenger, according to reports.
The French boss’ preference for signing a) young players with potential and b) French players is well documented – the list is quite remarkable – but could he be tempted to revert to his old transfer strategy and bring Thauvin in to join his young compatriot 20-year-old striker Yaya Sanogo who arrived in July on a free transfer from Ligue 2 side Auxerre?
Thauvin is exactly the kind of player Wenger relishes the opportunity to work with – he’s young, exceptionally technically gifted, audacious and would seem to have an impeccable attitude. He and Grenier fit the mold ideally of an Arsene Wenger signing at Arsenal.
With the Grenier deal having fallen through over a month ago after the player agreed a new deal with club Lyon, could the manager now have trained his gaze on Thauvin? He has the kind of potential that was seen in a 20-year-old Samir Nasri back in 2008 at Marseille and we all know how that worked out, for a while at least.
At present, Nasri’s old club are in the process of trying to negotiate a move for young Thauvin and, subsequently, Lille have slapped a £13 million price tag on him to ward off rival Ligue 1 clubs.
However, if they are resigned to losing him this summer, they may well prefer to sell him to a foreign suitor and I can’t imagine the player’s advisors denying him an opportunity to work with one of the finest French managers in history.
The only stumbling block may be Lille and their reluctance to sell a gifted youngster who only recent penned a new deal to keep him there until 2017. I do still, however, suspect that if Arsenal wanted Florian Thauvin they could have him. The question, of course, is whether the fans would be satisfied with another relative unknown 20-yea-old Frenchman coming in? Their hasn't exactly been a rapturous reception for Sanogo.
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