Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Florian Thauvin with Marseille needing to sell players to meet their FFP requirements.
Checking back through our archives it seems like we almost made it a year without being linked with Florian Thauvin in any meaningful sense. But, here we are with the window hardly open and he’s back.
Going back to 2015, Thauvin admitted that Arsene Wenger had tried to sign him a few seasons before he arrived in Newcastle.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Thauvin said, “Two or three seasons ago, Arsene Wenger perhaps made an approach with Arsenal, but apart from Arsenal, Newcastle are the only other club who have made an approach for me in the past.”
Wenger, and pretty much every person who ever met him, has of course gone from Arsenal so is the new regime reigniting Arsenal’s interest?
Still only 26, Thauvin netted an impressive 16 goals, with eight assists, in 33 Ligue 1 games for Marseille last season. What could Arsenal do with that sort of return from the flanks?
Quite a lot, frankly.
He’s under contract until 2021 and cost the French side £9.9m from Newcastle so there’s no sensible reason to think he would be priced outside of Arsenal’s limited budget. Of course, sense rarely plays a part in the transfer window. They’d also be getting a player with Premier League experience so he would, theoretically, need less time to ‘bed in’.
But Thauvin lasted only a single season with Newcastle before he returned to Marseille on loan and was considered one of Steve McClaren’s worst signings. He scored one and assisted two in 16 appearances and played only 568 minutes with no reported injuries. Alarming stats, for sure.
Marseille sold Thauvin to Newcastle in 2015 for £16.52m and they paid £10.8m for him in 2013 meaning they’ve had him as a player, either on loan or a permanent deal, for a total of five seasons with a net fee of just £4.18m. Anything over that amount is just gravy to them now and they must like their dinner wet because they apparently want €50m for him.
The player, for his part, could well be itching to move on again, trying desperately to escape Marseille’s orbit yet always finding himself back there.
Speaking in April he said of his team’s form, “I’m talking sh*t, I’m tired, but we’ve been poor this season.
“It’s the same story every season. I’m fed up. For a top-three finish, it’s over. And even if we get into Champions League, what’s the point? We’re rubbish.”
Given that’s how he feels about Marseille, if Arsenal do want to sign him they best not let him know anything about the state of us…