Atletico Madrid's French midfielder Thomas Lemar sits on the bench before the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, on December 1, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Marca newspaper, as cited by Sport Witness, Atletico Madrid are keen on offloading Thomas Lemar in the summer. Arsenal were among the clubs interested in the Frenchman earlier this year and could once again make a move at the end of the season. However, the Gunners could find it challenging to match Atleti’s asking fee, as the Spanish giants want to recoup a majority of the €70 million they had spent on Lemar back in 2018.

Thomas Lemar: One of the rare Atleti flops

There was a lot of optimism surrounding Lemar when he initially joined Atletico Madrid. He was being considered as a direct replacement for Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. However, two years into his spell in Spain, the Frenchman is yet to become a regular member of the Atleti first-team.

On the contrary, Lemar has been one of the most underperforming players in the current setup. So essentially, he has found it challenging to get regular game-time. He was involved in only five goals in 31 league matches during his debut campaign in La Liga. As a result, the ex-Monaco superstar has now only made nine starts so far this campaign.

The Frenchman’s lack of productivity has seen Diego Simeone relying on the services of Angel Correa and Vitolo in the creative unit. It has even forced them to re-sign Carrasco, although Atleti are yet to fill the void left by Antoine Griezmann.

Thomas Lemar of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the Liga match between Deportivo Alaves and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio de Mendizorroza on October 29, 2019 in VitoriA – Gasteiz, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

How does Lemar fit into the Arsenal side?

At Arsenal, Lemar will likely be considered as a left-winger, especially given the fact that Reiss Nelson has struggled with injuries after returning from his loan spell at Hoffenheim.

But, the fact that he can play anywhere in the final third means he can also compete with the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Gabriel Martinelli for a place in the starting lineup. Lemar’s versatility will undoubtedly be useful for Mikel Arteta, especially in the strenuous schedule of English football.

Why Arsenal must look elsewhere

Even though Lemar is still regarded as a talented individual, his struggles at Atletico Madrid clearly suggests the fact that he might not be ready to play at the highest level of football. But more importantly, his potential addition to the Arsenal side will create unnecessary complications without actually improving the quality of the team.

For instance, the Frenchman will surely make it difficult for Martinelli to become a regular member of the Arsenal first-team next season. And with Atletico Madrid likely to demand a higher fee, Lemar is certainly not a financially feasible target for the Gunners, which means they must look elsewhere as Arteta continues his search for a creative force in the final third.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.