Arsenal are interested in Real Betis playmaker Nabil Fekir and may have to splash somewhere around €30 million to acquire the services during the summer transfer window.
The Gunners have been long-term admirers of Nabil Fekir, 27, who fell off the radar somewhat following his notable failed transfer to Liverpool in the summer of 2018. A failed medical eventually stopped his move to Anfield and he spent another season at Lyon, before signing for Real Betis in July 2019.
The France international had a decent first season with Real Betis, registering seven goals and as many assists in 33 appearances across all competitions. He has been in good form in the current La Liga campaign, netting three goals while providing six assists, as Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis remain firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Fekir’s displays at the Benito Villamarin seem to have attracted the interest of Arsenal, who are looking at the French attacker as a possible alternative to Martin Odegaard this summer.
Martin Odegaard has impressed at Arsenal in a short time
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wanted to add a bit of creativity to his side and the club signed Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the 2020/21 season in January.
Odegaard, 22, appears to have put himself at the top of the north London outfit’s shopping list after a series of brilliant performances. The Norwegian playmaker has made an instant impact in the Premier League, catching the eyes of many with his silky dribbling skills, sharp movement and smart link-up play. He has scored vital goals against Olympiakos and Tottenham, whilst playing a pivotal role in Arsenal’s comeback from 3-0 down to salvage a point against West Ham before the international break.
However, the Gunners don’t have an option to buy Odegaard permanently from Real Madrid this summer, meaning that the midfielder will return to Santiago Bernabeu as things stand. The north Londoners would like to sign the Norway international on a permanent basis, but it is still unclear whether Real Madrid would sanction such a move or Arsenal have the money to make the deal happen.
Nabil Fekir could be a good addition to Arsenal’s attacking ranks
Arsenal still are in need of a replacement for Mesut Ozil, who left the club on a free transfer to Fenerbahce in January after the north London club agreed to terminate his contract six months early.
Emile Smith Rowe has seized his opportunity after he was thrown into the starting XI in December, impressing in the role vacated by Ozil. However, the Englishman is just 20 and Arteta needs to manage his workload carefully next season. The Gunners are already looking out for another creative midfielder and should they fail to land Odegaard, either permanently or for another loan spell, signing Nabil Fekir would make sense.
Fekir is an experienced player having made over 250 club appearances in his career so far, scoring 79 goals in the process. He has played 25 times for France and was part of the national team squad that won the World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
Someone like Fekir would instantly add quality to Arsenal’s attack, whilst being an experienced head to help Smith Rowe develop his game. The former Lyon man is a versatile customer who can operate in various roles in midfield and attack as per the manager’s demands, meaning he could give tactical flexibility to Arteta in bigger games.
At the age of 27, the France international is at the peak of his powers, and the time will be perfect for Fekir to join Arsenal should they come calling for his signature this summer.