Once again Arsene Wenger is linked with bringing French players to the North-East London club, but this is one player he should pursue.
It has been an interesting week for Lyon playmaker Clement Grenier. On Thursday he had to pull out of France’s last training session at Clairefontaine, on Friday he had been ruled out of the World Cup and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin took his place on the plane to Brazil. Then on Saturday, alongside his replacement, he was linked by newspaper L’Equipe with a move to Arsenal this summer.
With the abilities and skills that Grenier possesses it is easy to see why Arsenal are attracted to the 24-year-old. He is gifted while on the ball, he can beat a man, he can pick a pass and he has excellent vision and guile. He plays typically in the Arsenal way, but within the current squad he is not a player that Arsene Wenger should be targeting this summer.
Where would Grenier fit?
For the same reasons that Wenger dismissed the option to bring Cesc Fabregas back to the club, it’s the same through process that should stop any move for Grenier. Arsenal already have Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil to play in the centre of midfield. They also have Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla who can create chances from the wide positions. Grenier doesn’t quite have the pace to play wide; he is much more adept at playing centrally.
At Lyon, Remi Garde mostly played a 4-4-2 diamond formation, with Grenier playing either at the point of the attacking midfield, or just to the left to accommodate Yoann Gourcuff. However, this means he is still playing in the middle, with the two other midfielders covering the defensive duties.
Better players in better positions
Like the move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin, there are much better deals out there for Arsenal to concentrate on. With all the players they have in an attacking sense, they need some more cover on the defensive side of the midfield. Schneiderlin would be perfect for this: he is one of the best tackling midfielders in the Premier League and can also break forward and pick a pass or look to score himself.
It is typical for Wenger to target the French market, but he just needs to look at the correct players. Serge Aurier and Loic Remy are known Arsenal fans but yet deals remain far away. Both would be much better suited and bring excellent quality to the squad. Instead of looking at players like Grenier, Wenger needs to concentrate in the areas that are more problematic.