Arsenal Face Fierce Competition In Pursuit Of This Ligue 1 Striker: What Will He Bring To North London?

Arsenal face fierce competition in pursuit of Moussa Dembele who is in action for France in the picture
Timo Baumgartl of Germany challenges Moussa Dembele of France during the Germany U21 v France U21 International Friendly match on March 21, 2019 in Essen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Foot Mercato, Arsenal are facing some fierce competition in pursuit of Olympique Lyonnais forward Moussa Dembele this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Gunners are ‘very interested’ in the French striker, but will have to compete with Manchester United, Atlético de Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain for the right to secure his services in the upcoming transfer window. It is believed that the North London giants could end up losing Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and/or Alexandre Lacazette in this off-season, so Mikel Arteta has identified Dembele as a potential target ahead of the new season (via Foot Mercato).

Dembele’s Incredible Goal-Scoring Record At Lyon Last Season

The Lyon marksman managed to enjoy another excellent season in France after finding a run of consistency with his performances in the final third. He had banged in 22 goals and provided seven assists in 42 appearances for Rudi Garcia’s side last season, which goes to show just how lethal he can be in front of the opposition goal.

Dembele has averaged 2.1 shots, 0.8 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the recently concluded Ligue 1 season. However, he has been a bit wasteful when distributing the ball as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 70.1% in league football (stats via whoscored).

The Pontoise-born forward has represented France at various youth levels but is still waiting to get his first senior call-up from Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps. Maybe a summer switch to the Premier League could give him a more prominent platform to showcase his talents next season and claim a place in the French squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Arsenal face fierce competition in pursuit of Moussa Dembele who is celebrating in the photo
Lyon’s French forward Moussa Dembele celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and AS Saint-Etienne (ASSE) on March 1, 2020, at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The French Attacker Bring To The Emirates Stadium?

Dembele can use his pace and agility to make some well-timed runs in behind the last line of the opposition defence. He is proficient at finding space to get a few shots in on-target and is usually quite reliable with his finishing in front of the opposition goal. The Frenchman has netted 42 goals in 88 appearances, proving just how productive he can be in the decisive end of the field.

Recruiting a forward of Dembele’s skillset will undeniably be a shrewd move for the Gunners, especially if they end up losing either Aubameyang or Lacazette this summer. However, Arteta cannot afford to let both of them go even if he can manage to bring Dembele to North London as Eddie Nketiah is still not too experienced to feature in the Premier League week in week out.

The Lyon speedster will not only add more pace and goals to Arteta’s frontline but also enhance the overall quality of their squad. However, Dembele is not versatile enough to feature on the wide areas which could be a problem as Arteta needs more depth in his attacking department if he intends to lead his players to some silverware in the coming seasons.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.