Friday, June 2, 2023

Arsenal Call Off Their Pursuit Of This Relegated Premier League Star: A Wise Decision By Arteta?

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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.

According to The Sun, Arsenal have ceded their interest in Ryan Fraser. The Bournemouth playmaker was a target for the Gunners earlier this summer, but it seems they have now decided not to pursue him anymore. Arsenal’s arch-rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, have also pulled out of the race, with Crystal Palace now seemingly favourites to sign the player.

Ryan Fraser’s 2019/20 campaign

Fraser was heading into the 2019/20 campaign on the back of a breakout season that saw him compete with Kevin de Bruyne and James Maddison in terms of chance creation. He was tipped to make a similar impact in the new season amid interest from a host of top clubs in England.

However, Fraser failed to live up to the expectations, scoring just one goal and registering four assists in 28 league matches. It was significantly lower than his 21 goal involvements during the 2018/19 campaign. His chance creation also dropped considerably, with the attacker averaging 1.6 key passes per game, compared to the 2.4 key passes he managed last season.

Although the Scot lost possession on fewer occasions, the dynamism and consistency were not there as he failed to outperform himself on every other metric. Fraser even refused to sign a short-term contract extension with Bournemouth, which, combined with his shortcomings in the final third was one of the key reasons behind the club’s disappointing campaign that saw them get relegated.

Arsenal have ceded their interest in Ryan Fraser - It has been a difficult season for him.
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth warms up ahead of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on December 03, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

Arsenal cede their interest in Fraser: A good decision?

Fraser’s refusal to continue playing for Bournemouth could terribly backfire as Arsenal have rightly called off their pursuit of the 26-year-old. Although the player is available for free this summer, his inconsistent and underwhelming performances during the 2019/20 campaign make him a risky target for the north London giants.

Indeed, the Gunners require someone who can fill the void in the number ten role. Mesut Ozil has not featured since the restart and is facing an uncertain future at the club, while Joe Willock has also failed to make an impact. The addition of Fraser, in that regard, could unnecessarily stack up the creative department, especially at a time when the club is looking to hold back on expenses.

Crystal Palace, in that respect, is a much more logical destination for the Bournemouth star as the Eagles clearly lack the creative presence. As for Arsenal, they must move on and set their sights towards a more viable alternative as Mikel Arteta looks to reshape the squad this summer.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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