Monaco centre-forward Emmanuel Riviere dreams of playing for Arsenal, per L'Equipe (h/t Anthony Chapman at the Daily Express), so should Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sign Riviere? To cover that scenario, here is a scouting report on Riviere, a 24-year-old Frenchman.
Monaco striker Emmanuel Rivière: "I was dreaming of Arsenal. You have to believe and never let go. We will see what happens."— Chris Wheatley (@GoonerTalk) April 26, 2014
Reminiscing About Monaco
Wenger channelled his frustrations at being a mediocre footballer to become one of the greatest managers ever.
"I did not have complete recognition as a player," Wenger said, per Matt Weiner at the Sabotage Times. "You have a little bit of frustration from your career and that can help the motivation [as a manager.]"
Monaco was where Wenger's started to earn a reputation as a managerial genius.
Early-90s signed Monaco shirt in office of NY GM Jérôme de Bontin (ex-Monaco prez) has Weah, Wenger, Hoddle, Puel... pic.twitter.com/XXJv31CP— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 12, 2013
Proof of Wenger's foresight is evidenced in him playing a role in the careers of George Weah, Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry—all once-in-a-generation players—at Monaco.
"Weah was a real surprise. I have never seen any player explode on to the scene like he did," Wenger said, per FIFA.com. "For me, it was like a child discovering a chocolate bunny in his garden at Easter."
Weah went on to become the first African FIFA World Player of the Year. Thuram represented the French national team on a record 142 occasions. Henry is the greatest Gunner ever, per Arsenal's official website.
Thierry HENRY - AS Monaco 1996-97 pic.twitter.com/K1VaatDDaG— Old School Panini (@OldSchoolPanini) April 26, 2014
With Riviere talking about Arsenal, Wenger is again linked with a Monaco player.
|Thomas Vermaelen (2009)||Park Chu-Young (2011)||Mesut Ozil (2013)|
|Marc Overmars (1997)||Emmanuel Adebayor (2006)||Julio Baptista (2005; loan)|
|Emmanuel Petit (1997)||Davor Suker (1999)|
|Gilles Grimandi (1997)|
Should Riviere become Wenger's fifth Arsenal signing from Monaco?
Riviere is a 6'0", 176-pound centre-forward who has flashes of explosiveness.
He is a legitimate counter-attacking threat, demonstrated when he evaded Marseille centre-back Nicolas N'Koulou's tackle, accelerated clear of centre-back Lucas Mendes and slid the ball past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda at the Stade Velodrome earlier in the season.
Riviere has a compact frame, a strong upper body and is a tough player.
This was on show when he outmuscled Lorient centre-back Bruno Ecuele Manga, surged forward and played an instep pass to Monaco centre-forward Valere Germain.
Riviere displayed grittiness in scoring while being pulled down by Bastia centre-back Francois Modesto, which also happened against Rennes centre-back Sylvain Armand.
With an all-round attacking game, Riviere can finish with either feet and head home crosses.
Despite costing €56/£46.7 million less than Radamel Falcao, Monaco's marquee summer transfer window signing, Riviere is marginally more efficient than his teammate—taking 0.4 less shots per league goal.
Riviere is not just a kick-and-rush player because he has an adept technical base, a la lofting the ball over Montpellier keeper Laurent Pionnier.
Riviere has the luxury of playing alongside Monaco central attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, who leads Ligue 1 in assists with 12.
Central midfielder Joao Moutinho is another creative outlet averaging 1.9 key passes—a pass that leads to a shot—per game.
Left-back Layvin Kurzawa stretches the field with his overlapping runs.
Now, Dimitar Berbatov, who looked down and out at Fulham, is effortlessly scoring goals, passing the ball in a nonchalant manner and impressing at Falcao-less Monaco.
Point being: Monaco are expected to cash in.
Riviere has struggled with consistency and has routinely gone missing in action, hence why he is in and out of the team—the story of his career.
Should Arsenal Sign Emmanuel Riviere?
Riviere has attributed his fluctuating form in the past to a bothersome ankle.
"At Saint-Etienne and Toulouse, the doctors did their best but the pain wouldn't go away," Riviere said, per FourFourTwo. "But when I arrived at Monaco, the medical staff solved the problem."
Well, subjectively, there is truth to his statement given he has a spring in his step, his vertical bursts are lethal and he is leaping high into the air.
Riviere has the upside to develop into a complete centre-forward.
He would be a good alternative to current Arsenal centre-forward Olivier Giroud.
Statistics via WhoScored.com