May 29, 2013
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While Stevan Jovetic has long been thought to be a top target for Arsenal, there is no guarantee that the talented forward will make his way to the Emirates. And that makes Lyon's Clement Grenier, another rumored target of the club, an excellent backup plan.
That is, if Grenier wants to join the Gunners. From Ian Holyman of ESPN:
Arsenal target Clement Grenier has admitted he has already made a decision about his future, but is not prepared to reveal it just yet.
The Gunners, in particular, are keen to prise Grenier, 22, away from Lyon where he emerged from the youth academy to become a bona fide first-team regular last season. However, after being called into the France squad for their upcoming South American tour, the stylish playmaker, who has just a year left on his OL deal, has his mind on Les Bleus and not his own future.
Grenier is a stud. He scored seven goals and added eight assists in 33 total appearances for Lyon this season and was arguably the team's top player this season. Heck, Arsene Wenger even compared him to Samir Nasri.
Grenier is an imaginative attacking midfielder who is very technically sound, a sharp passer, will make incisive runs into open channels and is an adept dribbler in tight spaces. He is also a very dangerous weapon on set pieces, as you can see for yourself below.
Still, his talent doesn't exceed that of Jovetic, who can play as a second striker or attacking midfielder but can also lead the line. He's also a more natural goalscorer than Grenier and is nearly impossible to defend in one-on-one situations, as he's a wizard with the ball at his feet.
Grenier has some advantages on Jovetic, however. He's a year younger, for one, and he's talented enough to play deeper in the midfield if required to do so, whereas Jovetic is purely an attacking player.
Plus, he's arguably a better fit as a facilitator atop the midfield, whereas Jovetic would give the Gunners more of a second striker and scoring threat rather than point guard, if you will, atop the attack.
Oh, and he'll likely be cheaper. That's always a major consideration for Arsenal.
If Wenger does add a player like Jovetic or Grenier, it would signal four things: The squad is likely to add a more traditional striker to the mix such as Gonzalo Higuain; Santi Cazorla could find himself playing a more permanent role on the left wing; Jack Wilshere will probably settle in a deeper midfield role; and Lukas Podolski may be sold, finding himself down the pecking order on the wing and at forward.
In the end, Jovetic's ability to lead the line in certain matchups and give the Gunners a pair of diverse forwards with he and Giroud makes more sense than adding Grenier. But if Wenger wants a new attacking midfielder with a developing scoring touch, Grenier is a nice backup option.
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