Competition is sure to be rife for the signature of Maxime Gonalons this summer, but it is Napoli that have positioned themselves at the opposite end of the tug-of-war rope to Arsenal in the pull for his signature.
And it is with good reason that the Lyon captain is so sought after, as he is head and shoulders above his teammates in terms of his contribution this season.
Digging down badger style into Lyon’s statistics for the Ligue 1 season, it is clear that Gonalons is the heartbeat of the midfield, especially from his defensive impact.
The 25-year-old averages more tackles per game, more interceptions, more dribbles, more complete passes and more accurate long balls than any of his comrades at the Stade de Gerland.
Furthermore, should he translate identical stats to Arsenal, he would be average second spot across the same board to Aaron Ramsey.
It is in the areas of interceptions to break up play and the precision of his longer passing where Arsenal would stand to gain most, with the latter sometimes a problem for the Gunners as they are not the most direct of sides.
Getting the ball forward quicker, particularly given the adeptness of Olivier Giroud’s hold-up play, may prove a wise strategy for Arsene Wenger over the remainder of the season, while Ramsey’s return from injury should additionally help in the need for victories.
Arsenal host arguably the most direct side in the top flight next and it is 2/5 that Wenger picks the right team to secure the three points against West Ham.
If a move for Gonalons fails to materialise, it is a slightly more attacking French midfielder that could represent a suitable alternative.
Younes Belhanda has revealed that he is a dreamer when it comes to having a crack at the Premier League and that his favourite club is Arsenal.
Belhanda has had a positive impact in his first season with Dynamo Kiev and has previously proven that he can link impressively with Giroud, from their time together at Montpellier.