It’s pretty easy for fans and pundits to just forget about Arsenal’s pursuit of Thomas Lemar over the summer because they ended up signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but is there more to Arsenal’s seemingly ending their interest in the 22-year-old?
In the summer, Arsenal were heavily linked with Lemar and even ended up making a £92m bid for the then 21-year-old on Transfer Deadline Day. However, despite Arsene Wenger insisting that Arsenal would return for the winger, they didn’t in January.
Instead, Arsenal swapped Alexis Sanchez with Mkhitaryan. In the summer, the Chilean was supposed to sign for Manchester City for £60m but the Lemar deal never went ahead. The youngster was playing for France that night and wanted to concentrate on that. So he stayed at Monaco.
Arsenal also signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a club record of £56m in January, just half a season after forking out £52m for Alexandre Lacazette.
Now, Liverpool are the only club being seriously linked with Lemar and, even then, the reports linking the 22-year-old with anyone are drying up.
Why is this?
Last month, a report came from the S*n, which claimed that Lemar had turned down a new deal with Monaco. His current contract runs out in June 2021.
Since this, the Daily Mail report that Liverpool have ‘cooled interest’ in the winger and Arsenal are barely even mentioned in connection with the France international anymore.
Arsenal have spent a load of cash on top players recently. Miki isn’t exactly a like-for-like substitute for Lemar but, considering how much the club have spent on forwards over the last year, it’s not that surprising that Arsenal are no longer jumping at the chance to spend another £90m.
Especially seeing as they don’t have that £60m City would have paid for Alexis burning a whole in their pocket.
Lemar’s also not had a fantastic season in Ligue 1. He’s scored three goals and provided seven assists in 26 appearances, which isn’t terrible, but he’s not looked nearly as exciting as he did last term.
He’s also suffered with injuries.
What’s more, Arsenal’s needs have changed. Now, they desperately need centre-backs and not forwards – they have plenty of those.
With this in mind, even though Wenger said Arsenal would return for Lemar, I think that ship has sailed now.