So, Thomas Lemar could be on his way to the Arsenal this summer- after a season in which he flourished for Monaco, scoring 9 times and grabbing 10 assists (league stats).
He is commanding £50m plus potential add on’s fee, is he worth it? … Absolutely.
At 21, Thomas Lemar took Ligue 1 by storm; yes of course Mbappe grabbed all the headlines and sometimes rightly so, but for me Lemar was equally as vital on that left side. Monaco stormed to a league win that no one saw coming, and the youngster played a big part in that. He has pace, can dribble past players, has an eye for goal and can pick a pass; sound like someone we have already? No not Ozil, but Cazorla, that little magician we have sorely missed for the last 18 months. To a lot of people this potential signing meant Alexis was off, Lemar would come in and either play LW or perhaps alongside Ozil behind Laca, but I don’t think that’s the case now. The player who I believe Lemar is a long-term replacement for is Cazorla. He started his career at Caen as a CM, it’s a sign of how good he was last year at LW that no one would know his natural position is the centre of midfield, this is why I believe Arsene is desperate to sign him. Now this could also affect Ramsey as well, but more on that later.
It does intrigue me to see where he could fit within our team. I must admit to only following Monaco on a limited basis last season and I am not proclaiming to be an expert on Lemar, but I do know a talented player when I see one. This lad is a gifted footballer, a player who can use both feet, dribble past players AND have an end product and at just 21, he has the world at his feet. If he were to join us, he would improve us immensely; with him, we could play a multitude of different formations.
If we decide to play the dull and predictable 4231, he could fill the LW or RW role, potentially rotating wings with Alexis and Lacazette playing up top on his own. Alternatively, we could play 352 with Lemar forming a midfield trio of Xhaka/Ozil/Lemar. Lastly, if we stayed with the 3421 we ended the season with, I could see a midfield four of (Lemar/Ramsey/Xhaka/Bellerin) with Alexis and Ozil playing behind Lacazette up top.
See the examples below
My personal preference is the 3-5-2, and that means a certain Mr Ramsey misses out. Last season Ramsey was not at his best. One goal in the league, from 23 appearances is not a good return for a player of his quality and whilst I rate Ramsey, and hope he stays at our club, for me he is in limbo right now. He has no fixed position within the team, a divided fan base on what he brings to that team and it is the same with Walcott. Remember when Walcott held us to ransom over his new contract a couple of years ago, that would never happen now and I believe if Ramsey was to play hard ball with his renegotiation, the club would cash in, especially if we do get Lemar.
Yes, I appreciate the Ozil and Sanchez situation is contradicting what I have just written, but those two are genuine world-class superstars, something Ramsey is not and the club desperately want them to stay. Aaron Ramsey had a blinding Euro 2016 and you could argue he would stand out in a Wales team that is not as good as our squad, but I saw a hungry Ramsey and not the complacent one I see performing for us. With players like Jeff Adelaide, Joe Willock, Oxlade Chamberlain, Iwobi, Coquelin, and Wilshere all available for our midfield, Ramsey cannot afford another season where he meanders along and expects to get picked, because I have a feeling that times are finally changing at the Arsenal, and passengers will not be carried.
However, like I said, I rate Ramsey, on his day he is unplayable, a joy to watch and a player who can make things happen out of nothing, but Lemar in a world cup year is not coming to sit on the bench.
Ramsey be warned!