Arsenal’s Stunning Swap Deal Proposal Rejected By Lyon: Should Arteta Come Up With A New Offer?

Arsenal have made a move to sign Houssem Aouar - A prime target.
Lyon's French midfielder Houssem Aouar celebrates after scoring the opener during the French Cup quarter-final football match between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, central eastern France on February 12, 2020. (Photo by ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP via Getty Images)

According to L’Equipe, as cited by Metro, Arsenal have made a move to sign Houssem Aouar. The Gunners have reportedly proposed a player plus cash deal involving Matteo Guendouzi in order to sign the Olympique Lyon midfielder. However, their offer has been rejected by the French outfit, who don’t believe they need a midfielder and are only interested in a cash-only deal.

Why Are Arsenal So Keen On Aouar?

A product of the Lyon youth academy, Aouar is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1. The Frenchman has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since his 2017/18 breakout campaign, having already made 135 competitive appearances for his club.

Although Lyon performed well below expectations during the 2019/20 Ligue 1 campaign that came to an abrupt end due to Coronavirus, Aouar’s contributions have been critical in helping Les Gones beat Juventus in the UEFA Champions League and reach the quarter-finals.

Indeed, the 22-year-old has created a formidable midfield partnership alongside the equally talented figure of Bruno Guimaraes. He has particularly impressed the onlookers with his ability to distribute possession and carry the ball across half-spaces, having notably attained a pass completion rate of 85% in Ligue 1.

Arsenal have made a move to sign Houssem Aouar - A midfielder on the rise.
Lyon’s French midfielder Houssem Aouar celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between FC Metz and Olympique Lyonnais at the Saint Symphorien stadium in Longeville-lès-Metz, eastern France, on February 21, 2020. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Additionally, Aouar’s tally of 2.6 successful dribbles per game was fifth highest in the French top flight this past season and highest among any other central midfielder. It is indicative of his ability to drift past defenders and ease his side’s transition from defence to attack.

Should Arsenal Make A Cash-Only Bid To Sign Aouar?

There is no doubt that Aouar could turn out to be an asset for Arsenal. He has already shown what he is capable of even at the highest level and has considerable experience that should help him quickly settle into English football.

At Arsenal, the Lyon star could replace Dani Ceballos, who has returned to Santiago Bernabeu following the end of his loan spell, in the number eight role. His technical prowess should combine well with the much more robust style of Granit Xhaka, thus offering a new dimension in Mikel Arteta’s double-pivot system. This is why the north London outfit should consider making another move for him this summer.

However, one major problem regarding Arsenal’s pursuit of Aouar is his potential price-tag. Given his quality, the Frenchman is sure to attract a large sum; one the Gunners are unlikely to come up with, even with the sale of Guendouzi.

Although the situation may change if they manage to offload both Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, they may have to set their sights on other alternatives available in the market as Arteta looks to strengthen his midfield unit this summer.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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.