Sunday, October 2, 2022

Arsenal In Pole Position To Sign La Liga Playmaker: Is He The Right Option For 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 Tuttomercatoweb, Arsenal leading the chase in the pursuit of Nabil Fekir. The Real Betis playmaker is keen on leaving the club in the summer, having recently changed his agents. It has put a number of clubs on red alert, with the Gunners reportedly in pole position to secure his services, amid interest from Premier League champions Liverpool.

Nabil Fekir’s Season In LaLiga So Far

Although Nabil Fekir’s switch to Real Betis in 2019 seemed like a shock for many fans, the playmaker has done well for himself in Spain. After being involved in 14 goals in his debut campaign, the Frenchman has continued to perform at a high level, notably scoring three goals while registering six assists in the ongoing season.

Apart from his productivity, Fekir’s on-field contributions, including his chance creation, attempts on goal and proficiency from set-pieces have made him one of Real Betis’ main protagonists. He is, in fact, an integral part of the club’s creative unit that has helped Manuel Pellegrini’s men compete with the likes of Real Sociedad, Sevilla and Villarreal for the Champions League places.

Fekir, though, has set his sights on a move away from Benito Villamarin in the upcoming summer transfer window. The financial climate might also work in his favour as Real Betis will be forced to offload a couple of players to better balance the books, after facing the brunt of the pandemic.

Arsenal leading the chase in the pursuit of Nabil Fekir - He is proficient from set-pieces.
March 19, 2021, SEVILLA, SEVILLA, SPAIN: Nabil Fekir of Real Betis during LaLiga, football match played between Real Betis Balompie and Levante Union Deportiva at Benito Villamarin Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Sevilla, Spain. SEVILLA SPAIN – ZUMAa181 20210319_zaa_a181_192 Copyright: xJoaquinxCorcherox

Is He A Good Option For Arsenal?

Despite being blessed with the rapid rise of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe this season, Arsenal are still in need of reinforcements in the creative department. The performances of Martin Odegaard over the past couple of months have indicated the potential of Mikel Arteta’s men if they only boast the services of a proper number ten.

In Fekir, the Gunners will find themselves a seasoned campaigner who has a vast amount of experience in top-flight football. He has also won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France, so he can definitely offer the winning mentality as Mikel Arteta looks to usher in a new era in north London next season.

From a tactical perspective, Fekir would ideally settle into the number ten role in Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1. His chance creation, combined with his proficiency from set-pieces should bode well for pacy players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Saka, all of who can be used as runners.

The Frenchman can operate on the flanks too, if necessary, ultimately giving Arteta some much-needed tactical flexibility, following the departure of Mesut Ozil earlier this year.

Although Arsenal’s transfer priority this summer will be to permanently secure the services of Odegaard, Fekir should serve as an excellent cost-effective option in Arteta’s bid to reinforce the creative department ahead of the start of next season.

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