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Lyon forward Nabil Fekir, who has been consistently linked with Arsenal, is reportedly set to leave his current club at the end of the season.
According to L’Equipe (h/t Get French Football News), Fekir has an agreement in place with the Ligue 1 side that will allow him to move on in the upcoming window, regardless of whether or not Lyon qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
The report claimed Fekir will be the team’s “big money” sale in the coming months, with the previous summer seeing Alexandre Lacazette join the Gunners for a then-club-record fee.
Arsenal have been tipped as potential suitors for Fekir too, with the Daily Mirror reporting earlier this year that they will make a move for the Lyon skipper before the summer’s FIFA World Cup.
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Fekir has taken on more responsibility following the sales of Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso ahead of the 2017-18 season. And he appears to have relished it, enjoying the finest season of his senior career to date.
This strike against Dijon summed up what the 24-year-old would potentially bring to the Premier League:
Fekir has been played in various positions throughout his career at Lyon, although this term he’s been given consistent minutes in his best role, just behind the centre-forward.
From there, he can have a massive impact on matches. The France international is such a smooth footballer, able to find space with ease, thread passes into dangerous areas and glide away from oncoming defenders.
This season there’s been an end product to his play as well. In Ligue 1, Fekir has chipped in with 17 goals and seven assists, making him one of the most productive players in the division. As noted by WhoScored.com, he’s stood out for his side on so many occasions this season:
Most WhoScored man of the match awards in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season 🥇L. Messi — 20 🥈Neymar — 12 🥉N. Fekir — 11 https://t.co/BwvcOJPEus https://t.co/8tazCW2PB3
If Fekir is indeed available this summer, there should be a number of clubs in the chase to sign him.
Arsenal has always felt like a natural fit, as the football the team have played under manager Arsene Wenger—possession-based and attacking—would bring the best out of the Frenchman. But with Wenger moving on, the Gunners are on the brink of a summer of massive flux.
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With that in mind, bringing in a player like Fekir may be something of a gamble. Plus, with Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the club already, there are players who like to operate in the same sort of area as the Lyon man.
Should the playmaker decide to leave, it’ll be a huge decision, as he’s spent his entire senior career at Lyon. However, at this moment in time Arsenal, who will be without UEFA Champions League football next season too, doesn’t feel like the right step for him to take.