Arsenal Opinion: Alexis Claude-Maurice might be the next Guendouzi at the club
According to recent reports from French source L’Equipe, as cited by GFFN, Arsenal are keeping close tabs on FC Lorient attacker Alexis Claude-Maurice, as the Gunners continue to monitor their potential targets ahead of the summer transfer window.
The same report adds that Arsenal would need to fend off interest from Bundesliga clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach, Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. Ligue 1 duo LOSC Lille and AS Monaco are also in the mix for the €10million-rated French prodigy.
The 20-year-old French youth international has chipped in with 13 goals and 3 assists from 29 appearances in Ligue 2 and has made eyeballs turn with his consistently impressive performances in front of goal, keeping his team in the race for a place in the promotion playoffs.
The move, if it materializes, would be Arsenal’s second raid on FC Lorient in recent times after the Gunners struck an £8 million deal for Matteo Guendouzi last summer.
The jump from the French second-tier to Ligue 1 is quite big, and to the Premier League is nothing short of massive. Guendouzi, however, has successfully made a name for himself in his first season at Arsenal under the stewardship of Unai Emery, putting his name amongst some of the best bargains in the Premier League this time around.
After Guendouzi’s raging success at the Emirates, the fans at north London have every reason to anticipate another Emery masterclass in the transfer window.
The Spaniard reportedly wants to overhaul the core of his squad in the summer but he is likely to have a budget of just £40 million at his disposal if the Gunners fail to secure a Champions League place this season (h/t Sun). Hence, one would expect Arsenal to look for more bargain deals in the market and look at players who can fetch good value for money.
Alexis Claude-Maurice certainly falls in that bracket, though there would be an element of risk involved in the move, given that the 20-year-old is still unproven at the highest level.
Emery has done a fabulous job with the youngsters at the club and has fearlessly fielded the likes of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah in the group stages of the Europa League. Hence, it is quite clear that Emery knows how to extract the best out of the youngsters and Claude-Maurice has a good chance of flourishing under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
Claude-Maurice has earned rave reviews for his impressive displays down the left-hand side of the attack at the Brittany-based club, earning plaudits for his pace, flair, agility, athleticism, sharpness and vision. He not only has the ability to beat the defenders with his pace and trickery on the ball but he is equally adept at breaking the lines with defence-splitting passes.
Work ethic is another marked feature of his game. He often drops deep to win back possession for his team and drives forward with pace and intent.
Blessed with quick feet and remarkable speed of thought, the Frenchman knows how to create space for himself in the midfield with sharp turns and elegant touches, while also possessing the ability to make runs into the penalty area.
A recognised distance shooter, Claude-Maurice doesn’t hesitate to let fly from range with both feet.
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The Frenchman is still young and it remains to be seen whether Emery uses him in the first team, if a move does materialize in the summer. Nevertheless, the fans will be hoping to see him as the next Matteo Guendouzi at the club.