Arsenal under Unai Emery have been a mixed bag so far this season, and though they’ve enjoyed a solid few weeks, it remains to be seen as to whether they’ll be able to challenge at the top come next May. The signs are certainly there for the Gunners to continue improving, but it’s also clear that Unai Emery’s squad is not quite at the level of many of his rivals.
In truth, whilst results have steadied, a number of Arsenal’s first-team players are not performing at a particularly high level, and given their lack of depth, that is something to be concerned about.
One player that undoubtedly has been below par is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian winger has enjoyed moments of brilliance, but much like his time at Man Utd, he’s often fallen short more often than not. That’s something that isn’t going to bode well for the Gunners long-term, as consistency is crucial to maintaining any sort of sustained success.
Naturally, then, Arsenal would be foolish not to consider an upgrade in this area of the pitch, and one attacker that has looked good in Europe as of late is Bertrand Traore, who was brought to England by Chelsea prior to his switch to current side Lyon. He’s currently rated at £16.2 million by Transfer Markt.
Though he failed to break into the first team at Chelsea, that should be no slight on his character, given that many other top names have struggled to make an impression at Stamford Bridge too, before going onto success elsewhere.
If anything, Traore has been one of the most successful of Chelsea’s loanees, having earned a place in the Lyon first team alongside some of Europe’s brightest talents, like Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay.
An attacking midfielder by trade, he’s able to play across the attack, though is perhaps best used on the right-hand side. There, he’s able to cut in and cause damage when he’s close to goal, with a number of Arjen Robben-esque goals bagged by the Burkina Faso man already in his career.
Furthermore, with excellent energy, pace and technique, there is far more than just one string to his bow. Just as capable passing the ball as he is receiving it and driving towards goal, he’s able to make a real nuisance of himself in the attack. At just 23-years-old, he’s only getting better, too, and that bodes well for the long-term dynasty that Unai Emery is attempting to build at the Emirates.
He’s not the complete player, but Mkhitaryan simply isn’t doing the business so far this term, and with Mesut Ozil best used through the middle, bringing in a more naturally right-sided player makes perfect sense.
Arsenal fans – thoughts?
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