Why Aouar would be a bargain for Arsenal at €23m
Arsenal are set to return with an offer for Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, who has long been a transfer target for the Emirates side.
Aouar has been expected to leave OL on several occasions in the past, but the deal has always fallen through. Liverpool have been the other Premier League side who have been primarily interested in him, though this appears to have faded.
This summer, however, could be the one that the 22-year-old finally elects to leave his academy club.
The Sun reports that Arsenal want to pay a fee of around €23 million (£20m) for Aouar, who would in turn receive €116,000 (£100,000) per week.
Having missed out on Emiliano Buendia, who preferred to move to Aston Villa, the Gunners may turn to the Lyon-born star to provide offensive spark.
How good is Houssem Aouar?
Aouar had long been lauded as one of the next great prospects of the Lyon academy. He debuted for the club in 2017 aged 18 and has since gone on to make close to 200 first-team appearances, including 36 goals and 28 assists.
Furthermore, he is also a once-capped France international, having featured against Ukraine in a 7-1 win in October 2020. This is important as it means that he will have enough points to earn a work permit to play in England following new rules implemented following Brexit.
The report in England suggests that Lyon are still demanding a transfer fee in the region of €60m for Aouar, whose contract is up in 2023. This figure seems high given his diminishing importance in the team, although OL president Jean-Michel Aulas is known to drive a hard bargain. Indeed, reports in France suggest he could go for around €30m.
Aouar struggled to hold down a place in the Lyon starting XI following the Christmas break, although he did finish the season strongly, scoring two goals in the last three games as OL narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification.
How much is Aouar worth?
FootballTransfers values Aouar at €46m, which makes him the third-highest valued central midfielder in Ligue 1.
In this regard, he is behind only PSG’s Marco Verratti (€68.8m) and Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga (€60.3m).
If Arsenal were able to sign him for €30m, then, they should see that as a good price. At the €23m they are offering, Aouar would be a bargain.
Would Aouar be a good signing for Arsenal?
While Aouar enjoys a cult following due to his finesse and graceful play, he is often criticised for his lack of end product in the final third. This is one of the primary reasons he has not really kicked on and established himself as a star.
However, he offers great versatility in his play. Not only can he be used as a traditional No.8, he can operate as a deep-lying playmaker or as a creative force further forward in the team. He is also adept at playing on the left of an attacking midfield trio, though he is certainly not a traditional winger.
Aouar’s lack of progress over the last 12 months is a little concerning, but at 22 years old, he remains a player with scope for improvement and for a price of around €23m would have to be seen as a good addition.