£54 million Frenchman ‘exactly the kind of player’ Arsenal need to sign to close gap to elite, Arteta told
Michael Thomas believes that Arsenal need “another creative outlet” like Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
Arsenal strengthened their midfield ranks over the summer by signing Thomas Partey and Willian, while extending Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid, and for the best part, many have been excited about the quality that Mikel Arteta has brought to the club.
However, The Gunners have fallen to 11th in the Premier League standings after six fixtures, with a 1-0 home defeat to Leicester on Saturday marking their third defeat of the season, and Thomas believes they are still lacking a spark in the final third of the pitch.
Aouar was heavily linked with a move to the Emirates, and there was even talks about a a possible deal, but the Arsenal board could not get a transfer deal done as they did not want to pay his £54 million asking price.
But the former Gunners star thinks he is exactly the kind of player his old club need to sign in order to close the gap between themselves and the elite: “Through Arteta giving the team a more robust look, it has come at a cost to the creative side of our game,” Thomas told Caught Offside. “The players are playing very rigid.
“You need to be able to control the ball in areas that the opposing team doesn’t want to be and suffocate them. I think this will change in time but it needs to be sooner rather than later.
“Mesut Ozil obviously offers great creativity when he plays, but at what cost to the team’s efficiency?
“The team obviously needs more creativity going forward because they simply don’t have enough good efforts on goal. We are used to the frontline being played in behind, but recently everything seems to be in front of the opposition with no penetration or speed in the attacks.
“Another creative outlet is very needed whether it be Aouar or someone else.”
Aouar would have been a great signing for the club, but this Arsenal side is full of quality with a highly-rated manager, so it is very strange to see that the cannot put the results together and play the kind of football fans expected.
Even a new signing may not help.