According to Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People (h/t the Daily Mirror), the match between the surprise league leaders and the Gunners will serve as an “audition” for the midfield dynamo, who has been one of the finest players in the Premier League this season. “If the Frenchman likes what he sees then it could prompt a move for the Paris-born midfielder in the summer,” he says.
Hopkinson goes on to say aside from the critical showdown at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger will ask his scouts to keep a close eye on the rumbustious 24-year-old for the rest of the campaign.
As we can see here courtesy of WhoScored.com’s Ben McAleer, in the heart of midfield Kante has been a huge defensive presence for the Foxes, who are five points clear at the summit of the Premier League heading into their clash with the Gunners:
Only N'Golo Kante (205) has made more tackles + interceptions combined than Idrissa Gueye (172) in Europe's top 5 leagues this season #AVFC— Ben McAleer (@BenMcAleer1) February 8, 2016
While the attacking flair of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez has naturally grabbed a lot of the headlines, Kante’s presence in the middle of the park has arguably been just as important.
He may be small in stature, but there’s little the former Caen man can’t do. As aforementioned, he’s exceptional at halting opposition attacks, but he’s also adept at carrying the ball forward through the phases, something that has been a hallmark of Leicester’s superb counter-attacking this term.
FourFourTwo's Jonathan Fadugba hailed the influence of the midfield in the wake of his outstanding showing in the 3-1 win at Manchester City last weekend:
I'm not sure there's been a player more influential to his team's success anywhere in the Prem than Kante this season. Unbelievable stuff.— Jonathan Fadugba (@JFfutbol) February 12, 2016
For Arsenal, he’d be a brilliant acquisition. At times the Gunners have still shown they have a soft centre this term, especially in the middle of the park; if Wenger was to deploy Kante deeper alongside Francis Coquelin, that would potentially put an end to those woes. But Leicester, likely to be playing Champions League football next season, will not want to sell.
Arsenal Want Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
In the piece it’s suggested the Gunners are already considering which players to draft in for 2016-17. “Rather than contemplating selling their best players at the end of the season, Arsenal are already plotting how to strengthen their squad with Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang one of their principle targets,” writes Law.
Aubameyang would definitely provide Arsenal with a big boost in attacking areas. As we can see here, he’s been in sensational form this term:
When he signed for Dortmund, the Gabon international was primarily a wide forward who was used to stretch defences on the break. But he evolved into a wonderful striker under Jurgen Klopp and has continued improving under new boss Thomas Tuchel, giving opposition sides major problems in the Bundesliga.
As Squawka Football note here, the 26-year-old has been so consistent in front of goal in 2015-16 too:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the first player from the Bundesliga to score 30 goals in all competitions this season pic.twitter.com/kPkIIt7zPr— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 10, 2016
Should Aubameyang be Arsenal's top summer target?
If Arsenal could get him in, it’d be a wonderful acquisition. Aubameyang would provide a completely different kind of threat to Olivier Giroud, with his blistering pace prompting defences to drop deeper. That, in turn, would give the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey more room to flourish.
Wenger will also know that it’ll take big money to prise the player away from Dortmund in the summer, especially with BVB set to retake their spot in the Champions League in the next campaign. However, as the captures of Sanchez and Ozil have proven in recent previous summers, the Frenchman has occasionally been known to splash out in order to draft in special players.