Premier League

Ligue 1 Stars Arsenal Should Target In January

 • by Andrew Gibney
Share:facebooktwitteremail
news now

If Jose Mourinho thinks £300million isn’t enough to turn Manchester United into contenders, Arsenal may need to find at least double to bring the Premier League title back to the Emirates.

Julian Draxler has emerged as a target for the Gunners once again, as Paris Saint Germain look to raise funds to prevent any Financial Fair Play penalties.

The German international impressed when he first arrived from Wolfsburg, but the signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé pushed him down the pecking order.

Ángel Di Maria, Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore will be first on the chopping block, but if those three fail to leave the Parc des Princes, Draxler may be forced to move on.

However, if the 24-year-old isn’t available, Arsène Wenger may have to look elsewhere, here are five Ligue 1 stars who the Gunners could move for in the upcoming winter transfer window.

Lucas Moura – PSG: Winger

As soon as Neymar signed on the dotted line for Paris Saint-Germain, stories linking their remaining attackers with summer departures began.

Lucas Moura has certainly dropped down the pecking order, playing just five times in the league for 71 minutes and not featuring at all in the Champions League.

He has to compete with Di Maria, Draxler and Pastore for minutes off the bench. It’s hard to see the opportunities he craves appearing at Paris any time soon.

Former Chelsea and PSG defender Alex thinks the Brazilian would be a great signing for Arsenal and it’s hard to argue against him.

Quick, direct, more than just an old-fashioned winger, he’s an upgrade on Theo Walcott and there is still a chance he could become a wonderful player.

Having scored 12 times last term, Lucas is still improving, and he just needs the right club and manager to help him grow. If Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil are to move on, the 25-year-old would be an ideal replacement, especially if they can land him in a cut-price deal.

Issa Diop – Toulouse: Centre-Back

Issa Diop has emerged as a target for Arsenal

Highly regarded ever since he made his debut as a raw teenager. With each year that passes Issa Diop, a former Arsenal transfer target, continues to develop.

Toulouse are far from perfect at the back, but the defender continues to impress. He leads his team in interceptions made with 2.2 and only fellow centre-back Christopher Jullien beats his 4.2 clearances with 6.2 per game.

Still only 20 years old, Arsenal need fresh blood at centre-back if they want to persist with the 3-4-2-1 and Diop would relish a move to England now, especially playing under the guidance of Wenger.

Contracted until 2020, the France Under-21 international wouldn’t be cheap, but he’s an investment. Give him 12-18 months to learn beside Laurent Koscielny and you’ll have a star player on your hands.

Joris Gnagnon – Rennes: Centre-Back

When Diop went through his tough spell last season, it was 20-year-old Ivorian defender Joris Gnagnon who burst into the limelight.

The young Rennes centre-back has a lot of the same traits as the Toulouse defender, but looks more of a battler, winning 1.3 tackles per game, as well as 4.2 clearances and 0.9 interceptions.

Up for the physical battle, he’s shorter than Diop but still wins 1.8 aerial challenges each game.

Quick across the ground, he reads the game well and gets into the right position before the danger fully reveals itself.

A tough but fair tackler, linked with a move to Marseille in the summer, he looks to have all the attributes needed for a successful move to England.

His current deal runs until 2019 and sooner rather than later, Rennes are going to have to fend off interest in the centre-back. Arsenal need to be at the front of that queue if they want a defender they can count on for the next 10 years.

Adrian Rabiot – PSG: Central Midfield

In a team full of multi-million pound superstars, it’s home-grown talent Adrien Rabiot who is quickly becoming the most important player in PSG’s midfield.

Classy, skilful, elegant, and a player who reads the game well, Rabiot is maturing into a complete midfield general.

It feels like he has been around forever, with the 22-year-old having made his PSG debut six years ago, but still his position at the club remains in doubt.

Contracted until 2019, his mother and agent Veronique has yet to agree terms with the club, saying they needed to meet several stipulations before anything would be signed.

Rumours emerged on deadline day that the Gunners were trying to mount a last-gasp bid, but nothing happened.

Wenger and his people could pull off the coup of the century if they could convince the France international to join their team this season.

With his two tackles won and 1.1 interceptions, plus 79.9 passes per game, he is the complete midfielder who could bring this North London side together and make them contenders once again.

Nabil Fekir – Lyon: Attacking Midfield

You Might Also Like

After the departures of Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso this summer the best news for Lyon this term has been the superb return of form of Nabil Fekir.

The French playmaker has been sensational, picking up five goals and contributing three assists.

Previously, in Arsenal’s 4-3-3, it was hard to see where the 24-year-old would slot in but now, with Wenger’s change of formation, you could see the French international being an ideal replacement and even an upgrade on Mesut Özil.

More dynamic than the German, he can play with a bullish style that sees him run at defenders with power and pace, but he has the guile to drop a shoulder to jink into the box, or pick a killer pass.

It would be near impossible to convince Lyon to sell in January, but with the money they were offering Monaco for Thomas Lemar, Fekir is a better fit and would see him link up with former team-mate Alexandre Lacazette, making the Gunners a terrifying prospect in the final third.

Like Football Whispers on Facebook

related
content