There are plenty of positions that could use an upgrade at Arsenal, and attacking midfielder isn't necessarily one of them.
But that doesn't mean that adding Yoann Gourcuff of Lyon would be a bad bit of business, especially when the club's president was quoted as saying the talented player would be willing to do so on reduced wages.
From L'Equipe (via Husmukh Kerai of Goal.com):
Gourcuff is the highest-paid Frenchman in his country's top division but [Lyon president Jean-Michel] Aulas claims that he would willingly accept a lower wage for the chance to join Arsenal on loan.
"Can you see us paying part of his salary for him to play against us with another French club? We've never considered that and it would even more stupid now than it was a fortnight ago," Aulas told L'Equipe.
"All that I know, if I understood correctly, is that he was ready to lower his salary to go to Arsenal but that's not the same thing."
There are reasons to doubt the need for a player like Gourcuff. Arsenal have several players who can play the attacking midfielder role behind the striker—Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky all come to mind—while forward, defensive midfielder and keeper remain the primary needs.
Plus, Gourcuff has been a serious disappointment for Lyon. In the past three seasons, he's managed just 10 goals and nine assists in all competitions. To put that into context, he scored 24 goals and 21 assists in two seasons for Bordeaux before joining Lyon in a £19 million transfer.
Still, his abilities are unquestionable. He started strong for Lyon this season, with a goal and two assists in the club's 4-0 defeat of Nice over the weekend. That match earned him a rating of 10.0 from WhoScored.com—not a rating you see very often—and a Man of the Match distinction.
He would give Arsenal another very creative force in the attack, and his ability to play either centrally behind the striker or out wide to the left would give Arsene Wenger lineup flexibility.
And the thought of the player accepting reduced wages—and for Arsenal to add him, they would have to be significantly reduced from his current £350,000-per-month paychecks—surely sends shivers of excitement down Arsene Wenger's spine.
Would Gourcuff be the missing piece for Arsenal and lead them to a Premier League title? Probably not. Is he a player with enormous potential that could revitalize his career with the Gunners and end up being an excellent addition in a loan?
If Arsenal bring him aboard for the season, he obviously can't be the club's only piece of business on the transfer market. But he could end up being an impact player next season and a quality addition, at a realistic cost, for a Gunners team that desperately needs to add some silverware in 2013-14.
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