Arsenal hoping to beat Napoli to the signing of former player


Arsenal could be set to resign a former player this summer with an opportunity to pick up one of Serie A’s best-emerging talents this season for just a few million pounds.

According to Le10Sport in France, Arsenal could activate a buy-back clause in the contract of Ismael Bennacer. Bennacer has impressed in the Serie A for Empoli this season and his performances have drawn interest from the likes of Napoli. Empoli are said to be asking for around €16million for the player, but it is thought that the Gunners have an option to buy the midfielder back for just €4million.

Bennacer spent two years at Arsenal (2015-2017)

Unai Emery is looking to add ball carriers to his team this summer. The club certainly lack dribbling ability in central and wide areas and with Aaron Ramsey leaving in the summer, the problem will only deepen.

Arsenal’s current crop of central midfielders aren’t able to transition defence to attack very easily. They lack an agile ball carrier with a great final ball and Ismael Bennacer is a player that can do exactly that.

The lack of cutting edge and dribbling ability in Arsenal’s midfield is all too obvious when they play away from home. Emery often opts for two or three defensive minded central midfielders and this leaves Aubameyang, Lacazette and other attackers isolated and with very little service.

Napoli’s serious interest in Bennacer is probably what has alerted Arsenal to the player again more than anything. They know that even if he doesn’t fit in, they will be able to sell the player on for a lot more than the few million they’d need to pay to bring him back.

Just 21-years-old, there’s plenty of room for improvement in Bennacer’s game, but plenty of time to improve. He’s a busy midfielder that would probably develop further under Emery’s guidance.

A negative to Bennacer’s game is that he is not really a goalscorer or at least has not yet added that to his game. The Algerian international is yet to score a Serie A goal this season but has managed to notch 5 assists for his teammates.

His lack of goals show that he isn’t really a Ramsey replacement, considering the Welshman has scored 4 in the Premier League and 2 more in the Europa League this season despite being in and out of the side. But Bennacer is 7 years younger and has plenty of time to work on his goalscoring, something Ramsey did as his career progressed.

In the short term Bennacer could provide an instant upgrade on Mohamed Elneny, who has started just 3 Premier League matches this season and in that time, failing to impress the fans and his new manager.

New signings Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have instantly jumped ahead of Elneny in the pecking order and it looks like his days are numbered. Despite mediocre performances, there is interest in the Egyptian and Arsenal are still likely to make a profit on the £5million they spent to sign him.

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