According to Get French Football News (GFFN), Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Lorient striker Alexis Claude Maurice. The player, too, is keen to join Emirates this summer despite interest from a host of clubs across Europe, according to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol.
However, the report claims that Lorient have rejected Arsenal’s €16 million bid in pursuit of Maurice. It is believed that the French outfit are insistent on their €20 million valuation of their prized attacker.
Claude-Maurice’s excellent campaign with Lorient
After making his breakthrough in the Lorient first-team last season, Claude-Maurice has made quite an impression with his performances in the recently concluded 2018/19 campaign. The winger scored 14 goals and provided four assists in Ligue 2, ending the campaign as the second most productive player in the club and seventh most in the league.
Claude-Maurice’s services in front of goal played a critical role in guiding Lorient to an impressive sixth-place finish in the French second division. They were unlucky to have missed out on a top-four finish by just two points.
What can Claude-Maurice bring to the table?
As his remarkable goalscoring record suggests, Claude-Maurice is an opportunistic attacker, whose positional awareness allows him to get on the end of scoring opportunities. Although a left-winger by trade, the youngster often tends to shift into a central role and operate in-behind the main striker. This has been highly prevalent this past season, with Claude-Maurice building a sensational offensive partnership with Pierre-Yves Hamel.
Another key asset to Claude-Maurice’s overall game is his ability to take on defenders and create scoring opportunities in the final third. He is also blessed with the sheer pace that makes him a genuine threat on the counter.
Should Arsenal cough up €20 million for Claude-Maurice?
Arsenal are reportedly operating with a slender budget this summer, which means spending €20 million of Claude-Maurice could consume almost half of their transfer kitty – something the Gunners cannot afford right now.
The 21-year-old is far too inexperienced and is yet to make an appearance in the top-flight. And for a fee of €20 million, he could be a massive gamble for Arsenal considering the current circumstances. Hence, it would perhaps be wiser for the North London giants to invest on a more well-established attacker, who can revamp their offensive line next season.
Suso, for one, has been linked with a move to Emirates this summer and the AC Milan winger, at the age of 25, could be a smart piece of investment for Emery this summer.
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