Arsenal have said goodbye to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech, freeing up space on the wage bill, and that could help Unai Emery’s case in the pursuit of Yacine Brahimi.
The Algerian winger is currently playing in the African Cup of Nations, however, at the end of the tournament he’ll have the job of finding a new club after his deal with Porto expired yesterday, and now La Gazette du Fennec claim he’s in talks with the Gunners.
The 29-year-old winger is fresh off of the back of a strong season with Porto where he contributed 13 goals and nine assists in all competitions, although Brahimi didn’t find himself celebrating any major silverware after Porto came 2nd in the league and lost on penalties to Sporting in both domestic cups.
That spell in the winger’s career is now over, though, and as Arsenal are in talks to bring him to the Emirates. It’s claimed that the player favours a move to England for both ‘sporting and financial reasons’, although he also has offers on the table from Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
Emery spoke of his side needing wingers following a victory over Cardiff City in January (during a post-match press conference posted by Hayters TV) and said he hoped the loan signing of Denis Suarez at the time would bring an improvement there. Well, considering the fact the Spaniard left the Gunners after only appearing in 67 minutes of Premier League action, it would perhaps be fair to assume that the need for wide options remains.
When compared to Alex Iwobi (who largely started on the left) last season, Brahimi managed more dribbles, shots and times fouled per game as well as completing more tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, via WhoScored’s player comparison tool. Clearly, the standard of the leagues they are competing in is different, but the former Porto man does boast better statistics in almost every aspect.
With another option in Welbeck having departed too and Brahimi making 27 appearances up and down the left-hand side last season, he would appear to be someone who could have a role in the 4-2-3-1 system deployed by Emery.
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