Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made a bright start to his summer with the Bosman signing of Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac, who will drift into the left wing-back role at the Emirates. With a potential £150m kitty in the bag, the long-standing manager is looking at probable options in the forward line with Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe underlined some of the big names in their shortlist.
In spite of this, the 67-year-old appears to hold some interest in Juventus’ Mario Lemina, whom he failed to pursue during the last summer transfer window. The Gabon international was rated as a huge talent with potential at former club Marseille, and this has earned him a temporary switch to Turin back in 2015.
Although he rarely featured in the first XI, the Old Lady went with the 23-year-old’s progress to reward with a permanent contract on the back of the Paul Pogba transfer saga. Pogba eventually secured a world-record move to former club Manchester United, but this has not improved Lemina’s position with the likes of Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira higher up in the pecking order.
Wenger already has a long list of midfielders in his ranks, and the club’s ongoing interest in Lemina comes as a surprise, given how well Aaron Ramsey has adapted to the central midfield role alongside Granit Xhaka. To top that, the likes of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are going nowhere soon, and this only adds to the competition, should Lemina make the switch to north London.
Arsenal’s over dependence on Alexis Sanchez could come at a price this summer with the Chilean eager to pursue a fresh challenge at a Champions League-based club. Olivier Giroud is frankly not much than a Super Sub, and Wenger should focus on bolstering his striking options further rather than dwelling over any deal for Lemina, who could be well off at a different club.
The FA Cup holders are already carrying the likes of Joel Campbell and Mathieu Debuchy in their squad, and Lemina could fall straight into the bench-able bunch, rather than making a mark in the starting lineup. Lemina amassed a tally of just 11 starts for the Old Lady last term, and he is due to hold direct talks with Max Allegri to resolve his immediate future.
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