Friday, September 29, 2023

Arsenal Linked With Yet Another Ligue 1 ‘Prospect’ – Should They Sign Him?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Lyon Winger Rachid Ghezzal is a man who is supposedly attracting a lot of interest from the Premier League according to reports. There is a three-way battle for the winger with Arsenal, West Ham and Everton all keen to add him to their ranks. There’s also a talk of a £8.5m bid from Everton being rejected by Lyon. With a little over two weeks to go in the transfer market, there will be some obvious movements and Ghezzal can be one of the players to make his move from the French league into the English Premier League in the coming days.

Ghezzal’s attachment with Lyon started in the year 2004, when he joined the club’s youth academy, slowly he made his progression at the ‘Grand Stade’ stadium and in the 2012/13 season got his breakthrough to feature in the senior team by then manager Remi Garde. Making 14 appearances in the league with 10 starts, the Algerian, scored his first senior goal that season while registering his first assist. He also played in the Europa League that year.

A severe back injury kept him out on the sidelines for 6 months the next season and on his return, he wasn’t able to get fully fit to feature in the team which resulted in him playing no part for an entire season in 2013/14. After a subdued campaign, in 2014/15, the 24-year old announced himself with a bang last season racking up 29 appearances for the first team scoring 8 goals and assisting another 8.

Lyon, were served a hammer blow when right at the start of the season, Nabil Fekir suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury and went out for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Ghezzal stepped up to the plate, delivering some wonderful displays making the world aware of his talent. His displays allowed Lyon to finish as runners-up last season to PSG, narrowly getting ahead of AS Monaco, who had the same number of points, on goal margin. Although PSG surpassed their nearest rival by a massive 31 points, Ghezzal’s consistent displays helped Lyon to not lose ground with the rest of the pack competing for the 2nd spot.

Arsenal has previously shown interest in quite a few number of Lyon players, from Clement Grenier, Maxim Gonalons and Nabil Fekir to Alexandre Lacazette and now Rachid Ghezzal.  There’s no doubt about the quality of the 24-year old, but at this moment he is not the player the Gunners need. The Algerian winger can be a valuable or more appropriate addition to the other two clubs in Everton and West Ham to be fair. Arsene Wenger needs a striker and a defender, there are many currently in the Arsenal squad who can play wide right as a winger.

At this stage it would be very surprising if Wenger decides to move for Ghezzal, going all out for his teammate Lacazette would make far more sense and the Gooners would welcome a striker more than another winger in this transfer window. Thus, a move to Everton or West Ham looks more likely for the talented attacker.

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