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Arsenal are reportedly resigned to missing out on Monaco winger Thomas Lemar in the current transfer window.
According to Rob Draper of the Mail on Sunday, the French champions are reluctant to do business for their talented midfielder.
“Monaco’s stance is irrespective of whether Kylian Mbappe, being chased by Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, leaves this month,” said Draper.
“And the reality of having to pass on Lemar for now means that Arsenal are unlikely to make any further signings this summer.”
Draper added that, instead of pursuing new players, “all energy will be focused on reducing the wage bill with a string of names available to leave.”
Lemar would have been an exciting acquisition for Arsenal, as he was a key man in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title triumph last term. These numbers from Squawka Football sum up just how important he was to Leonardo Jardim’s team:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Thomas Lemar for Monaco in 2016/17: Most forward passes in final-third (231) Most crosses (224) Most chances created (72) Most assists (10) https://t.co/008EJScXqq
The 21-year-old played off the left flank and was so tough for opposition defenders to pin down. Lemar is adept at maintaining width and dipping infield, although he always provides a threat. He’s both explosive and effective on the ball in the final third.
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Lemar is the kind of player who would offer something different to Arsenal in attack. The Gunners have utilised the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi in the wide areas at times in recent seasons, with none able to offer the consistency needed to help the push for major titles.
The Monaco tyro has the potential to be a world-class operator, and as a result, Arsenal supporters will be disappointed that their prospects of signing the Frenchman seem to be shortening.
Olivier Giroud Wants Arsenal Stay
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Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud has said his affinity with the Gunners has convinced him to stay at the club this summer.
The striker came off the bench on Friday to net a dramatic winner for Arsenal in the 4-3 victory over Leicester City, underlining his worth to the cause. Despite being behind the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez in the pecking order, it appears Giroud is happy to fight for his spot.
He said, per Steve Stammers of the Sunday Mirror:
“To be honest, there was something in my soul and in my heart which told me to stay.
“That is why. To be honest, I have been hesitating because I am the most happy man when I play and I am on the pitch. I keep the faith and I still believe I can have an important part to play this season in the club.”
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Last season the 30-year-old struggled to get regular minutes from the start, with Wenger utilising Sanchez as a centre-forward. Giroud has been making big impressions off the bench, per WhoScored.com:
Olivier Giroud: Has scored at least four more goals as a substitute than any other Premier League player since August 2015 (10) https://t.co/qMAnya1P3v
With so much class in attack, it’s difficult to see Giroud making himself a regular for Arsenal, especially given he’s proved so effective as an impact substitute.
But his love for Arsenal appears to have convinced him to reject consistent games elsewhere to play a bit-part role at the Emirates Stadium. That’s a huge boost for the Gunners who, with Giroud, have one of the most varied attacks in the top flight.