Buendia not the priority
Arsenal have seemingly missed out on signing Emi Buendia. The Argentine was a long-term target of Arsenal’s however they failed to make a significant move to get the deal done before their competitors.
Aston Villa were hellbent on securing the Argentine and they look to have now achieved that.
Arsenal were outfought and outbid in the end with suggestions he may not have been as high up the priority list to invoke a similar pursuit to the Birmingham-based club.
Final bit on Buendia: fee agreed up front was Â£33m and he was undoubtedly Villaâs No 1 target this summer. #avfc pushed the boat out to get him ahead of Arsenal, a player closely watched by recruitment for last few years. And yes, donât ignore the influence of @emimartinezz1 👍🏻
â John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) June 5, 2021
Now Arsenal will need to set their sights on securing an alternative. We have already covered a possible 4 options which you can check out here.
However, there are plenty more to discuss.
The 5 alternatives:
One of the most exciting prospects on the European stage is Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro GonÃ§alves.
Formerly a Wolves youth player, GonÃ§alves moved away earlier than many of his compatriots and gradually, via Spain, found his way back to Portugal and helped Sporting to a first title in nearly 20 years.
His positioning shares some qualities of that with Buendia in regards to his versatility. He can play on the right-hand side and drift more narrow but also play as an out and out number 10 which the Gunners will be intrigued by.
Whilst creativity has been lacking, GonÃ§alves’ lowly 4 assists may be of some slight concern however he more than makes up for it in the number of goals he scores.
23 league goals from his predominantly attacking midfield position is a staggering achievement. He will be highly sort after and it is rare that clubs in Portugal let their top talents go on the cheap.
However, if Arsenal are intent on improvement then it is going to take some serious spending to change their fortunes.
You can read an in-depth breakdown of GonÃ§alves here.
The man who worried plenty of England players only a few days ago with his direct play, passing and shooting. Marcel Sabitzer has been one of the most consistently impressive figures in the Bundesliga since his rise at RB Leipzig.
Whilst he did spend some time, like so many other RB Leipzig players, at Red Bull Salzburg his route was different. Purchased by Leipzig straight from Rapid Vienna, he was loaned back to Austria with Salzburg where his numbers exploded.
He was brought immediately back and has continued his improvement. 8 goals and 4 assists this season may not impress greatly however his positioning at Leipzig has altered explaining this reduction.
Shifted slightly further back to a central midfield role is the reason the numbers have been affected. However, having just turned 27, he has plenty of years at the top and his 17 goal contributions in the Bundesliga in 19/20 playing in a more offensive position is evidence that he could be lethal for anyone, maybe Arsenal, who were to buy him.
A long-time name associated with Arsenal. Nabil Fekir was previously linked with a move to the Gunners several years back.
His career has taken him on a very different journey and he now plies his trade in Spain with Real Betis. A move which drew much attention for its shock value, Fekir has been a bright spark for the Seville-based club.
Not known for being a string-puller behind the forwards, Fekir prefers a much more direct approach. Running at teams and driving the ball into the box to take shots. 11 goal involvements in La Liga from 33 appearances could certainly be improved upon and the hope of better players around him at Arsenal could bring that.
A departure is feasible and he has already been linked with a move to the Gunners this year.
On the Fekir links that are doing the rounds, I’m told Arsenal are looking at him as a potential target this summer, Odegaard will be the priority though.
Fekir, who has just switched agents, would be available for around Â£26m.
Full story 👇https://t.co/SzsXf97ZE1
â Charles Watts (@charles_watts) March 28, 2021
The man that never happened. Arsenal fans’ summer 2020 transfer window nemesis. Houssem Aouar seemed to be the Emi Buendia of the that window. Arsenal supporters may be slightly relieved they were put out of their misery significantly quicker regarding the Buendia links in comparison to the time spent hoping on Aouar.
He remained at Lyon and has not experienced as an impressive 2020/21 season and fell out of favour with the senior French national side too. There have even been suggestions he could move away for a significantly reduced fee.
Aouar is a player who has flourished playing in central midfield with a licence to roam forwards. He can play in a slightly wider role but more reserved than an out and out winger. He can also be positioned behind the main striker, however, his work in the other direction is restricted which is something to consider thanks to his defensive attributes.
7 goals and 3 assists in Ligue 1 weren’t enough to help earn Lyon Champions League football, another factor in the willingness to allow a sale. Aouar started just 23 games in the season out of his 30 appearances. It seems Lyon are ready to finally let go but will Arsenal be in for him once again?
Despite West Brom being relegated, Matheus Pereira stood out from the crowd. He even scored a fine goal against Arsenal, driving at the retreating defence before slotting the ball past Bernd Leno.
It is likely that with the Baggies down, Pereira would be open to a move back to England’s top flight and his displays certainly would warrant a move.
The question will be is Arsenal too much of a step up and, in comparison to the other names on the list, is he worth his weight?
He scored 11 goals and recorded 6 assists playing in both a right-wing position and central attacking midfield role. He also featured on the left which intriguingly was his most potent position with 3 goals in the 3 games he started there.
His versatility, goal threat and creative streak playing for one of the league’s less impressive sides does give pause for thought. Could he take his game to a much higher level and would Arsenal be willing to take the risk?
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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