Why Arsenal Should Target Nabil Fekir As Mesut Ozil’s Replacement
Arsenal are quite known for their admiration of Lyon’s players. They monitored Alexandre Lacazette for almost two transfer windows before finally signing him during the summer. Next on their list appears to be Nabil Fekir – a 24-year-old attacking midfielder, who can also play as a striker.
Fekir has been in astonishing form domestically, chipping in with 11 goals, while providing 4 assists. In fact, no other player has had such a direct hand in more goals than the Lyon star in France’s top tier this term. He did miss a vast majority of the 2015/16 season due to an injury – Fekir made just 5 league starts – but he seems to be making up for lost time.
Having recently turned 24, Fekir exploded into Lyon’s starting XI and wasted no time in establishing himself as one of the next great talents from the club’s formidable production line. However, his knee injury last season was quite serious. All his efforts seemed to be in vain but the player put up a commendable fight and recovered from his injury. Now, he is once again among Ligue 1’s top stars.
An effective player out wide, behind the striker or even when leading the charge, Fekir’s versatility in the final third only adds to his already impressive skill set. He also has this inane ability to play in a number of attacking positions, which provides scope for tactical flexibility.
Lyon would be keen to retain his services but if Arsenal come knocking, they may find it difficult to reject the Premier League side. Fekir could undoubtedly benefit Arsene Wenger’s squad. In a drab Gunners forward line that looks devoid of a spark of creativity, Fekir could just be the man to reignite the free-flowing attacking football that Arsenal were famous for.
Moreover, a chance to link up with his former teammate, Alexandre Lacazette, would also be a tantalising proposition for the youngster. Interestingly, Lacazette provided 3 of Fekir’s 9 league goals last season, which goes to show that the duo shares a good understanding.
With Mesut Ozil’s contract due to expire next June and no deal imminent, the Lyon-born star would be an ideal replacement. Although both players operate in the same role, their strengths are different. The German perhaps has greater imagination, but Fekir carries a far more significant direct threat. The Lyon man is adept at dribbling and is quite effective defensively as well, thus making him a strong candidate for Arsenal to consider.