French sensation Thomas Lemar broke into the big stage of football after a fantastic last season at Monaco. The left-footed attacking midfielder, who can also play as a winger, scored 13 goals and created 14 more in 52 appearances last season. The French ace who was a star player in the free-flowing Monaco team last year, alone created 106 chances for the Ligue 1 champions.
According to reports, Lemar was very close to leaving Monaco this summer. The French champions oversaw a mass exodus of players including star footballers like Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Lemar was close to a move to England, according to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.
He confirmed that Liverpool, who signed Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer, were ‘really interested’ in Lemar. However, it was Arsenal, he claimed, that came really close to sealing a deal for the Frenchman.
With Alexis Sanchez set to leave for Manchester City, Arsenal looked to bring in another winger to replace the Chilean. A bid for £92m was made. However, the deal that began in the eleventh hour was scrapped by Monaco and subsequently, Arsenal refused to let go of Alexis without signing a replacement.
The Monaco vice-president said that it was too late for the deal to be completed and it would have been difficult to find alternatives so late in the window.
He further ruled out a possibility of a move in January move but said that there is a ”fair chance” that the winger is likely to leave next summer.
Vasilyev said that he does not see the club making major changes in the January window but things will be very different after the World Cup and could possibly see Lemar head for the exit door.
Vasilyev added: “We understand that we are basically a selling club and we accept that but at the same time we are in a good financial situation so we don’t have to sell and we want to keep the club competitive. This is not about making money, it’s about being successful. So there is always this balance.”
Should the winger make a move to England, his ideal destination would be North London. Although it would be tempting for any attacking player to join Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, there is already a plethora of attacking ammunition scrambling for places in Liverpool.
However, the situation at Arsenal is different. With Alexis set to leave, Lemar would seamlessly fit into the first team role and it would be down to the winger and his performances to keep a hold of his position.