It’s of no real surprise that Arsène Wenger has a preference for signing French speaking players such as the legendary Thierry Henry all the way to the sellouts of Samir Na$ri and Gaël €lichy. However, the question looms… Will Arsène delve into Ligue 1 to find the next big hit for the Wengaboys.
Possibilities range from flamboyant and rapid strikers, to technically gifted midfielders Ligue 1 is famous for and potentially sturdy defenders as cover for Vermaelen and Koscielny. While taking into account goal scoring records and the players potential for growth oh so familiar to Wengers young signings.
Ligue 1 top 3 scorers:-
- Oliver Giroud, the 25 year old striker is in excellent form for Montpellier with 14 goals to his name as well as an earned first cap for the national squad. Giroud is currently linked with a move abroad stating he hopes he’s caught bigger clubs’ eyes after a very successful first half to the season leaving Montpellier in 2nd, just 3 points behind Paris Saint-Germain. The Frenchman also has 5 assists to his name with a hattrick of assists in recent weeks against FC Lorient. The potential for this signing is overwhelming as he generally performs the same role as Marouane Chamakh only to greater effect and is looking for a “bigger club” to ask for his autograph.
- Loïc Rémy, after a disappointing start to the season by Marseille (much like that of Arsenal), this rapid striker has a tally of 9 league goals to help his club rise to 6th, 9 points of the first spot while only one win away from rising above Lille at 3rd. Rémy has brought attention from many clubs including Tottenham manager ‘Arry Redknapp traveled to the Azure Coast to see the 25 year old forward destroy Lille in a 2-0 victory. While Loic has said he will stay until the end of the season, like most players he is one large sum of money away from signing for anyone.
- Kévin Gameiro, signing for oil fueled Paris Saint-Germain in the summer the 24 year old has scored 9 times in 20 games: Arguably a shadow of his record at Lorient last season with 22 goals in 30 games… While Gameiro fills out your typical “Complete Forward” role combining speed with skilled dribbling and finishing prowess PSG are still chasing the signature of AC Milan outcast Alexandre Pato. If PSG are to become a threat in European competitions under new manager Carlo Ancelotti they are bound to keep prolific striker Gameiro thus rendering this deal unlikely.
Ligue 1 top 3 assist-ers:-
- Mathieu Valbuena, with 10 assists this season, mostly with Rémy on the end of them, has attracted attention from, again, ‘Arry Redknapp… This is his 6th season with Marseille, while their lackluster start to the season leaves doubt about winning the title could the 27 year old eye a move to the Emerites offering a potential for greater Champions League success?
- Jérémy Menez, again signing for PSG in the summer the ex-Roma and Monaco star has a respectable 6 assists while chipping in with 3 goals, however racking up 9 yellow cards and committing 31 fouls. There is certainly room for improvement with this 24 year old midfielder as Carlo Ancelotti may try and model him on ex-Chelsea Joe Cole currently playing at Lille. The play styles are very similar (While injury another shared characteristic) and key as dribbling and general technical prowess are the cement in Ligue 1 play style.
- Cédric Barbosa, at 35 years old and playing for very unknown and mid-table Evian TG he has manager to gain 6 assists in shocking wins over the likes of Montpellier and AJ Auxerre. While there is the major unlikely hood of any deal linking Barbosa to Arsenal you can’t completely rule it out as Wenger recently signed 29 year old Arteta generally regarded as a shock due to his “old” age…
Special commendations go to,
- Eden Hazard of Lille reported stating “I want to move to Madrid” but being urged to stay at Lille by England “International” Joe Cole as he is still very young and reigning champions at his Nord-Pas de Calais based club close to the border of his home country Belgium. Wenger’s preference for young talent coupled with Hazard’s own opinion of Wenger could be a very likely signing, however coming with a €50 million price tag.
- Younes Belhanda of Montpellier a 21 year old Morrocan/French midfielder with 5 goals and 3 assists. Belhanda is comparable to a consistent Adel Taarabt. Will the call of Champions League football and the French hero Wenger be enough to ease the signing…?
- Moussa Sow of Lille, stating in the summer that he wanted to move to Arsenal to play along side ex-Lille teammate Gervinho. The French/Senegalese striker has 6 goals this season, however all of them at home… The potential signing and come-and-get-me pleas may even ease Eden Hazard to Arsenal as Lille find themself without any notable striking force.
- Andre and Jordan Ayew of Marseille, the flamboyant winger Andre has 6 goals this season while his younger striker brother 2. Recently changing to a 4-2-2-2 formation, Marseille have allowed the development of young Jordan Ayew after the disappointing flop of Andre-Pierre Gignac. Andre seems to move to Arsenal most of the time on “Football Manager 2012” and what motives does a video game have for lying…?
- Marvin Martin of Sochaux-Montbeliard, underachieving at 19th in the league could Martin be looking for a way out while the 24 year old is in his 9th season at the club. With 1 goal and 4 assists this season and the young age and possible low price tag could mean a move to North London for the attacking midfielder.
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