Arsenal have been on the lookout all summer to add to our attack on the wings and our main targets have been Mkhitaryan, Draxler and most recently Riyad Mahrez if rumours are to be believed.
Arsenal had previously lost out on Mkhitaryan to United after the Gunners were supposedly hesitant in their interest towards the former Dortmund man, whilst the Julien Draxler situation is very much developing by the day. As for Leicester City’s Mahrez however, Arsenal are now favourites to sign the PFA Player of the Year, with interest from Wenger really hotting up these last two weeks.
I think most will agree that even though a winger may not be as important as a striker in this window, if the opportunity to sign Mahrez arises, then Wenger should certainly make an approach. However in the opinion of former Arsenal defender and legend, Lauren, Arsenal don’t really need to sign the Leicester City man!
Speaking to the media Lauren said: “He is a very good player, but how many similar players in terms of technically proficient, creative midfielders and wide men do Arsenal have already?
They have Mesut Ozil, they have Jack Wilshere, they have Aaron Ramsey, they have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, they have Theo Walcott – Arsenal don’t need Mahrez. Arsenal have always had dynamic players – but they need to change that style a little bit, maybe be a little more direct, with more aggressiveness, and determination – which means players with a different style than Mahrez can offer.”
Although I agree with Lauren on the idea that Arsenal already have more than enough midfielders and widemen at the club to field a whole side from just one position across the field, what concerns me is the lack of quality in the majority of those same players.
Focusing solely on the wing, yes we have Alexis, Walcott, Ox, Campbell, Iwobi and Gnabry and that’s six players for just two positions, however how many of those are in the ‘top quality’ bracket?
After Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal dramatically fall in terms of quality on the wing. Walcott will remain at the club despite the frustrations he can cause, whilst Ox, Campbell and Iwobi all have the potential to rise to the occasion in my opinion, but only with plenty of hard work. Gnabry for me will not make it at Arsenal and I’d expect another loan move for him this year. With all this in mind, Arsenal most definitely need a player of Riyad Mahrez’s quality on the other wing, especially if we are being as ambitious as we claim to be. If Arsenal want to be strong across all four competitions this season, then we need two top quality, consistent wing men to support the attack and whilst we already have one in Alexis, we desperately need a Mahrez for the other wing.
Admittedly a winger may not be Arsenal’s main concern and priority, however if the likes of Mahrez or Draxler are available now and Arsenal have a chance of signing either one of them, then it would be silly for Wenger not to put an offer in!