It could be fair to say that transfer rumours have been put into overdrive as far as Arsenal are concerned lately. This week we have already seen the club bid for Wilfried Zaha, while links also tied the club with a possible move for Harry Maguire – although with the club’s reported transfer budget in mind, it is difficult to work out just how these moves can be pulled off.
Taking that into further consideration makes another recent rumour all the more baffling. Reports in France linked The Gunners with a move for Nabil Fekir, who may provide Arsenal with a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, or even a superior alternative to Mesut Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attacking midfield – with the Lyon man outperforming both Gunners midfielders in goals and assists over the past few seasons.
But even if he were to be sold on the cheap, the £54m-rated Frenchman should be nowhere near Unai Emery’s priorities as the clock ticks towards the end of the summer transfer window.
The fact is that Arsenal don’t have that kind of money (or so we are led to believe). It is bad enough that Emery has decided to add another forward to the squad with the team’s problems alarmingly visible at the back.
Even if Gabriel Martinelli proves to be a worthwhile signing, that defence will not get stronger without someone freshening it up and solving Arsenal’s leaky backline.
Directing their efforts towards the attacking third of the pitch should literally be the furthest thing from Emery’s mind right now.
If Arsenal are seriously considering adding Fekir to the ranks, we could assume one of two things. One being that the supposed £40m transfer kitty is a total fabrication and some sort of negotiating ploy; the other being that Emery believes the best form of defence is attack, which given Arsenal’s dodgy results last season, is a bold move, to say the least.
Should Arsenal’s next move in the transfer market be an attacker, the latter may well turn out to be true, even if The Gunners have more funds than we are told at the moment.
Nevertheless, the approach Emery has seemingly instructed his team to undertake so far seems reckless with Arsenal surely just a tight defence away from possessing a team worthy of getting them back to the Champions League next season.
If the philosophy next year is simply to out-score the opponent, then you could argue Arsenal are looking in the right areas.
But if this is Emery’s latest attempt at transforming The Gunners into the solid unit that their fragile defence made impossible last season, they should snap out of this goal-hungry trance and bring some much-needed cover to the defence – before time runs out.