Arsenal could renew their interest in Atletico Madrid play-maker Thomas Lemar during the January transfer window, according to ESPN, with manager Mikel Arteta prioritising a new attacking midfielder in North London.
It is not only at the back where the Gunners have struggled this season. With just 24 goals in 18 Premier League matches, fewer than seven other top-flight clubs, a lack of cutting edge and creativity has also contributed heavily to the fact that Arsenal are due to spend Christmas day in the bottom half of the table.
A lack of cutting edge and creativity; it’s the sort of sentence you wouldn’t have dreamed of reading at any point during the Arsene Wenger era but, with Aaron Ramsey gone and Mesut Ozil a shadow of his former self, Arsenal tend to make hard work of opening up defences these days and top scorer Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is crying out for service.
Whether Lemar is the man to remedy an ongoing problem, however, is another matter altogether.
The France international was one of Europe’s hottest prospects when Arsenal made a club-record £92 million bid for his services in 2017 (Sky). But a man who helped fire Monaco to the Ligue 1 title alongside Kylian Mbappe and Bernardo Silva has seen his progress stall dramatically since joining Atletico Madrid instead.
Lemar has contributed three goals and three assists in 46 La Liga matches with the famously pragmatic Diego Simeone struggling, not for the first time, to get the best out of an enigmatic creative talent.
Perhaps Arteta, a coach steeped in Cruyffian principles, is capable of breathing fresh life into a man who was one of the most coveted midfielders on the continent less than three years ago.
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