21-year-old key Arsenal target 'perfect' Alexis Sanchez replacement

The 21-year-old French winger, Thomas Lemar, is a key transfer target for Arsenal, so what’s all the fuss about?

Lemar plays for AS Monaco, and is one of the shining young prospects in a team that won French Ligue 1 this season.

He joined Monaco two years ago from SM Caen for a reported fee of €4 million as a replacement for Anthony Martial.

The young French international made a remarkable 55 appearances for the club across all competitions, contributing to the club’s success with 14 goals and 17 assists.

Style of play

Monaco’s French midfielder Thomas Lemar celebrates. (Valery Hace/AFP/Getty Images)

Although he might be one of the shortest players on the field, he’s packed with explosive pace. Combined with his dribbling abilities, this makes him particularly hard to defend against.

When allowed even the slightest space, he will use it well, making straight runs on the opposition’s goal and he often looks for the most direct and efficient way to reach the penalty box.

Strengths

MONACO – MAY 03: Thomas Lemar of Monaco during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between AS Monaco v Juventus at Stade Louis II on May 3, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Other than his pace and impressive dribbling skills, Lemar is very good at making key passes and creating chances. He has the ability to hold up the ball and wait for supporting players.

Another great strength of his is taking set-pieces and direct free kicks, and the player is very good at delivering the ball into the right areas.

As he mostly operates just in front of the penalty box, he has developed powerful and precise long shots, and doesn’t hesitate to take a chance when it arises.

Lemar is very versatile, and can be deployed on both flanks, regardless if the role is to hold back as a wide midfielder or push higher up the field as inside-forward cutting inside.

Weaknesses

Caen’s French midfielder Thomas Lemar reacts during the French L1 football match between Nantes and Caen on April 5, 2015 at the Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD (Photo credit should read JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Even though he’s only 5’57” and a little over 9st, he’s not easily pushed around and is capable of standing his ground. He should work on his physique a bit more, however.

Other than that, Lemar doesn’t have any significant weaknesses that impact on his natural position as a winger.

The future

France’s forward Thomas Lemar arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on May 29, 2017 as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming WC 2018 qualifiers match against Sweden on June 9, and friendly football match against Paraguay and England on June 2 and 13. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old has a contract with Monaco until 2020 and is valued at €20 million by transfermarkt.com but Monaco’s asking price would be at least twice.

Lemar certainly does posses more than enough quality to fill in the void that could be left should Alexis depart and the Gunners would do a marvellous job if they could manage to get him.

He might take some adapting to a more robust game in England but it shouldn’t be a problem for the pacey winger.

Like most of the others in the current Monaco squad, Lemar has plenty of talent and can only get better with more experience and time at a bigger club like Arsenal. Or Tottenham, you know, if he’s stupid.

Lemar skills, assists & goals