Arsenal will reportedly seek to raid Lyon in the summer, with Nabil Fekir and Corentin Tolisso said to be on the club’s radar.
In a feature from L'Equipe, as passed on by Sport Witness, it’s outlined which players could be targeted by Premier League sides at the end of the campaign. It’s noted the Gunners are keen on the Lyon duo, especially Fekir, who has also been linked with the likes of Manchester City in the past.
Unfortunately for Lyon, the forward has been injured since September, and they’ve been unable to match their form from the 2014-15 season. Here’s a reminder of how good he was last term:
Fekir is a youngster who seems destined for an elite outfit, and for Arsenal, he’d certainly fit the bill. After all, the French international is adaptable, dynamic and technical on the ball, capable of fulfilling a variety of different positions on the field.
He formed a devastating partnership with Alexandre Lacazette at the point of the Lyon attack last season, with Fekir dropping into intelligent positions, freeing up space for his team-mate and playing incisive passes into dangerous areas.
As we can see courtesy of OptaJean, without Fekir in the side as of late, the form of the striker has suffered badly:
214 - Alexandre Lacazette average one goal every 214 minutes in Ligue 1 this season, a worse rating than in 2014/15 (106 min). Departure ?2016-1-6 11:16:12
Tolisso is another young player Lyon fans have been excited about, although he’s not been as widely hailed as Fekir. The 21-year-old is also a flexible footballer, typically at his best in midfield but also able to fill in at full-back.
His main attribute is the ingenuity he possesses with the ball at his feet, which has shone through this term despite Lyon’s inconsistent form. That much is evident by these statistics from Squawka Football, which are testament to Tolisso’s ability to control the course of a game:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most passes completed by U-21 players in Europe's top 5 leagues this season: J.Weigl (1,170) C.Tolisso (1,086) J.Stones (829) D.Ndong (791)2016-1-15 20:47:03
Of the two, Fekir is the kind of player Arsenal should be prioritising. Although he’s not an orthodox centre-forward, he’s a player who could add some crucial thrust to the team’s attacking forays in a plethora of positions. Should he return from injury and recapture his form of last term, the Gunners won’t be the only ones looking to sign him, though.
Arsenal to Discuss New Alexis Sanchez Contract
According to the Sun (h/t Liam Spence of the Daily Express), Arsenal will hold discussions with Alexis Sanchez about a new contract with the club at the end of the season.
The Chile international has been thrilling since he joined the Gunners from Barcelona in the summer of 2014, lighting up the Premier League with his effervescent style of football. It’s suggested the 27-year-old is to be rewarded for his fine form and will ask for a deal which runs until 2019 with a salary of £165,000-per-week.
Although Sanchez has made plenty of headlines for his thrilling contributions in the final third, as noted by the club’s official Twitter feed recently, there is a lot more to love about his game:
Arsenal FC @Arsenal
He's @Arsenal's Duracell bunny! Here's @Alexis_Sanchez's energetic display at Bournemouth: https://t.co/DWCrr7PSii https://t.co/x3ZjxpeC0w2016-2-8 08:38:03
Sanchez hasn’t quite been at full tilt this season, with injuries blemishing his campaign. However, with Arsenal still in the hunt for Premier League glory with just 13 games to play, he’ll be hoping that having recently returned from another knock, he’ll be suitably rejuvenated to aid in the title push.
Already Sanchez has shown a propensity for thriving on the big stage, and he’ll be desperate to steer his side to silverware again this term. Should his goals, assists and infectious work rate facilitate the club’s first league title in over a decade, then a new contract as lucrative as the one aforementioned will be richly deserved.