Arsenal appear to be making plans to strengthen their squad this summer and the club look to have set their sites on another exciting attacking talent.
According to reports from Italian source Tutto Mercato Web, Real Betis midfielder Nabil Fekir has changed his agent, with a view to secure a move this summer.
The same report goes on to say that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is a ‘great admirer’ of the player and that the Gunners are in pole position to make the signing.
Many view a downside to signing Fekir as his injury proneness. This appears to be somewhat of a myth, with the Frenchman so far starting 25 La Liga games and managing 2026 minutes this season. Last season he started 31 league games.
Heading into the peak years of his career, Fekir’s signing wouldn’t be one for the future, but instead one for right now.
Turning 28 in July, Fekir would bring with him many years or scoring and assisting at the top level. This season he has 3 goals and 5 assists for Real Betis and widely regarded as their best players. Last season he notched 7 goals and 4 assists, with 12 goals and 9 assists for Lyon in the season before that. In the 2018/19 campaign, he was a standout performer in the Champions League group stages, netting 3 times and notching 2 assists from 6 games.
Arsenal fans would welcome the prospect of both Fekir and Odegaard joining the club, I’m sure. But with Emile Smith Rowe already at the club, it appears to be either or, in terms of Fekir or Odegaard. I’m sure Arsenal will do all they can to secure Odegaard for the long term, but should it not be possible, then Fekir would bring a similar skillset to the club.
Throughout his career, Nabil has sometimes featured as a number 9 and if Alexandre Lacazette were to leave the club this summer, then Nabil could be viewed as an alternative option to lead the line. He’s not your orthodox striker, but if Arteta takes a similar view to the game as his previous mentor, Pep Guardiola, then it could possibly be an option.
Fekir, like Smith Rowe, is also capable of playing in a wide playmaker role. Arsenal have seen the success of playing Smith Rowe on the left and may want more options of that ilk.
The is one to watch ahead of the summer.