There have been many reports in the press of late to suggest that Arsenal are set to make a January loan move for Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff.
For all the hard work and endeavour shown in the second half of both of these games by Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby, The Gunners have failed to create too many clear cut chances. Although the French international has struggled for form and consistency since his big money move to Lyon from Bordeaux in August 2010, he is an accomplished passer of the ball who would fit in with Arsenal’s ball on the floor philosophy, creating chances for his team in the process.
The addition of Gourcuff would relieve the pressure on the midfielders currently at Arsenal. Both Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby have had terrible luck with long term injuries in recent times and have both only just recently returned to the team. His appearance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday was Diaby’s third game in a week following a three month lay off, with Wilshere himself having played almost every minute since returning from 14 months on the sidelines in September. With Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky sidelined through injury and Aaron Ramsey often deployed on the right hand side, the Arsenal midfield looks in need of reinforcements and a player of Gourcuff’s pedigree could fit the bill.
Financially, a loan move would make sense to Arsenal. Gourcuff’s reported wages of around £80,000 a week should be easily affordable for a club that has been paying sums not far off that figure for fringe players such as Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner in recent seasons, players Arsene Wenger has shipped out on loan this term. Any loan deal may also include a pre-agreed fee for the player’s permanent transfer at the end of the season, a fee that should Gourcuff reignite his career at the Emirates could prove serious value for money.
By Aaron Sharp