Over the summer, Arsenal were reportedly the frontrunners to sign Ivorian midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, who had drawn rave reviews during his time at Nice.
Fulham ended up beating Arsenal and a host of other clubs to Seri’s signature, yet the Gunners will be delighted they held off on buying the midfielder.
The 27-year-old arrived at Craven Cottage with sky-high expectations, but his time at Fulham has been overwhelmingly disappointing.
The famed passing ability and calmness on the ball that Seri was known for in France is absent from his Premier League form. On multiple occasions, loose passing and dawdling on the ball has led to Fulham conceding soft goals, most notably in high-profile errors against Chelsea and Manchester City.
In addition, Seri’s defensive work-rate has been woeful, with his lack of tracking the opposition’s attacking runners from midfield a particular weak point.
The Whites have conceded an exorbitant amount of goals this season, with a large number coming from cut-backs to unmarked midfielders that Seri failed to deal with.
Overall, the Ivory Coast international’s effort levels have been perhaps his most frustrating trait in SW6, with the midfielder often appearing unbothered by Fulham’s predicament and showing little passion on the pitch.
Seri’s indifference is best exemplified by his role in Juan Mata’s goal in the recent 4-1 loss to Manchester United. When faced with Mata’s forward run, Seri takes a glance at the player and continues his slow jog back towards goal, calmly watching as Mata strokes home.
A player of Jean-Michael Seri’s supposed quality ought to be doing far better with Fulham, but his lack of effort and adaptation to England have contributed to his underwhelming start.
As a result, Arsenal will count themselves lucky to have avoided spending a multi-million pound fee on the central midfielder.