It’s clear what Unai Emery is trying to achieve at Arsenal. The Spaniard wants more intensity and more urgency.
But for now the new Gunners boss must contend with a squad assembled by Arsene Wenger. He has a chunky wage bill to balance too.
But one player who could join Arsenal this month – and make an instant impact – is Yannick Carrasco.
The 25-year-old Belgian is currently playing in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Yifang. But it’s believed he’s keen on a return to Europe.
It’s believed he would come with a £25m price tag, which could still be within Arsenal’s limited budget.
Carrasco made his name with Monaco, before earning a £25m move to Atletico Madrid in 2015.
In two seasons in Ligue 1 and another three in La Liga, the winger produced 26 goals and 22 assists. He’s scored in Champions League finals too.
Arsenal’s wingers aren’t flying
That potency off the flanks is something Emery’s Arsenal side could sorely benefit from.
The Gunners have two top-line strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and Alexandre Lacazette, but the build-up play to supply the duo can often be laboured and predictable. Lacazette in particular has suffered in that regard.
And with Emery still at odds with the club’s top-earner Mesut Ozil, it seems that wingers will be increasingly important at the Emirates.
Alex Iwobi has stepped up his game this season, but it remains to be seen what levels the Nigerian will reach. On the other flank, Henrikh Mkhitaryan often flatters to deceive, and is currently injured.
Reiss Nelson has made headlines in the Bundesliga, and will return to the Gunners next season, while Emile Smith Rowe has impressed this term too. But both are still teenagers and have much to learn.
Signing Carrasco won’t be easy if Emery’s financial hands are tied. He may need to try and offload one of Ozil or Aaron Ramsey first.
There’s a lack of squad depth at Arsenal too, while three wins in seven games across all competitions suggests that Emery’s revolution is hitting troubled waters.
A mid-season signing of Carrasco’s caliber could answer many of Arsenal’s problems, and hand Emery his latest signal of intent for what lies ahead.
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