Arsenal set to sign France international?
Arsenal opinion: Lyon star Maxime Gonalons has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium - and is the exact type of player the Gunners need
Rumours about Stevan Jovetic making the move to Arsenal are increasing and I, for one, hope they hold merit.
Manchester United showed how much of a difference a quality striker could make to a club’s fortunes and Jovetic would be key to Arsenal’s rejuvenation. It is said that preliminary talks have been initiated with the Montenegrin and a transfer look to be very much on the cards.
Arsene Wenger should continue his uncharacteristically early and eager pursuit of players to better the squad by securing the likes of either Etienne Capoue of Toulouse or Maxime Gonalons from Lyon. Capoue seems set on a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain, though, and Arsenal are reportedly shifting their interest to Gonalons.
Gonalons is under contract until 2016 but Lyon are likely to be willing to sell if any club matches their £15m asking price.
The 24-year-old might just be the right fit for Arsenal. He is a solid defensive midfielder, not shy of committing to challenges – sometimes excessively so, perhaps giving away too many free-kicks for ill-timed or overly aggressive tackles. Nevertheless, this is what Arsenal need – an aggressive holding midfielder with a dominating presence that could provide the cover that the back four currently lacks.
Gonalons’ 6’2” frame, together with his assertiveness, could prove to be a daunting figure in the middle of the park and also handy in defending set-pieces and crosses.
He will bring leadership and defensive organisation to the table as he is currently Lyon’s skipper. He has led the young and inexperienced team well this season, currently sitting in third in the Ligue 1 table despite many of the top players leaving last summer.
Although not a goalscorer, the France international is confident and skilful with the ball at his feet and, besides, goal scoring is not a trait that Arsenal will be looking for in a defensive midfielder. There is more than enough talent in the squad to put points on the board – it’s keeping opposition out of the box that’s been the issue this season.
Arsenal fans will be looking for top class, proven players to fill the gaps in the side this summer and although the Frenchman is only 23 and comes with no Premier League experience, he has had his fair share of top-flight football, having competed in the Champions League as well as the Europa League. He is also experienced at international level and has represented France on a several occasions.
Capoue will still be my first choice in the defensive midfield role but if he decides to snub Arsenal for PSG or another suitor, Gonalons is certainly my second choice - and the young Lyon captain could make the difference for Arsenal in the middle of the park.
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