Sunday, January 29, 2023

Arsenal Face Tough Fight For Ligue 1 Target: Should Wenger Go All Out For Him?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

While rivals like Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have already started flaunting their new signings, Arsenal are yet to get into the groove. Apart from the free transfer of Schalke’s full-back Sead Kolasinac, the North London side are yet to make a statement after making tall promises in Arsene Wenger’s contract extending ceremony.

Among all the major upgrades needed to the existing Arsenal side, midfield remains a tricky one. Gunners have a pretty heavy midfield with some really quality players. And getting a new one, which is essential given their last season’s inconsistency, would mean disposing of a few.

Names like Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin are doing the rounds for some time now on the departure list and so have been some on the arrival list. One such option has been Ligue 1’s latest revelation Jean Michael Seri. The Ivory Coast international has been a commanding figure in OGC Nice’s midfield last season, working tirelessly and dominating the area with his constant interception and Wenger is known to be an admirer of the player.

After N’Golo Kante’s title-winning performance for Chelsea last season, every club has been on the search for someone, who would be a brilliant cover in their midfield, giving the anchorman enough freedom to distribute the balls.

And Seri looks like a perfect addition to Arsenal’s impressive midfielder Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international has shown terrific long-range abilities, both shooting and passing, and with someone like Seri doing the hard work around him, he could be a dangerous weapon for the Gunners.

However, Arsenal won’t have him easily, as they face a stiff competition from Serie A side AS Roma, who are under immense pressure to sell some of their consistent stars owing to the penalty for breaching Financial Fair Play Regulations. One such name is Radja Nainggolan and the Italian side is eyeing to replace him with Seri.

However, their two initial offers of £13.25 million and £22 million have already been rejected by the French club as they are adamant in holding out a £31 million price tag on their star midfielder. Given Arsenal’s dire need of one, they might just agree with the club but their absence from the Champions League could be a big hindrance.

Seri has scored seven goals and assisted nine times in 39 games for Nice in all competition, reflecting the fact that his defensive mindedness hasn’t stopped him from taking his chances.

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