Arsenal: Mustafi edging closer; Lacazette progress; Nigerian starlet signs on
When it comes to sources of Arsenal transfer news, BBC Sport’s David Ornstein is something of an oracle and he provided fans with a timely update yesterday.
He confirmed that Arsenal have a firm interest in Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, and are working to sign a striker before the end of the window.
However, he reported that Arsenal have no interest in Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez or Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler.
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 4, 2016
It seems Arsene Wenger is keen to press ahead with a deal for Mustafi and secure his signature before Arsenal’s opening game of the Premier League season at home to Liverpool.
That news will encourage Arsenal fans, though they may be slightly perturbed by the apparent lack of interest in Mahrez or Draxler.
Arsenal scored just 31 league goals at the Emirates last season and Wenger has highlighted a lack of potency in the final third as one of the key reasons they failed to win the league.
That is not just the responsibility of the strikers (or any incoming strikers). It is a collective failing and Arsenal need more goals from wide areas with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain two of the most profligate.
However, the scene can change rapidly when it comes to the transfer market and Arsenal could quite feasibly switch from ‘no interest’ to ‘very firm interest’ in a matter of days.
It seems that new striker is going to be Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette with Sky Sport’s News Kaveh Solhekol tweeting the following yesterday:
Arsenal working hard to sign Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette. Two clubs still in talks to agree a fee
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 4, 2016
Arsenal need a striker desperately with Danny Welbeck likely to be out until 2017 at the earliest, and there is a genuine dearth of viable options available.
Lacazette scored 21 Ligue goals last season, and while many are unconvinced he was Wenger’s first choice target this summer, he would be a very good fall-back option indeed.
Finally, Arsenal have completed the signing of 18-year-old Nigerian midfielder Kelechi Nwakali with the player himself confirming the deal had been finalised.
According to The Sun, Arsenal fought off competition from Chelsea and Manchester City having been impressed with Nwakali’s performances at the Under-17 World Cup.
Arsenal have sound Nigerian connections, with former player Nwankwo Kanu representing the player as an agent.
Alex Iwobi, nephew of Nigerian legend Jay Jay Okocha, had a breakthrough season last year which should give Nwakali hope he can do the same in the future.
Featured image: All rights reserved by chao1989
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