Arsenal want £28.9m winger who is a ‘better player’ than Nicolas Pepe and Edu knows how to do it – Tom Canton
The focus for Arsenal in the summer transfer window will be on central midfield and striker positions.
football.london understand that Mikel Arteta is looking at these areas among a number of expected additions that aim to see more three players arrive. With that in mind, Arsenal will surely see players arrive in other areas of the team.
One position that has seen consistent ties with a variety of players is wide forward. Netherlands international Noa Lang was a previously touted name at the end of the 2021 summer window, but links have resurfaced more recently, suggesting long-term interest from Arsenal.
The advertised price would be in the region of €35m (£28.9m), an accessible fee, but if Arsenal are keen to invest heavily in the striker and central midfielder, it could significantly reduce their possible spend.
However, the possibility of exits facilitating a move would make a deal more likely in addition to the financial benefit of Champions League qualification, a path which seems the only way to convince Lang of the Gunners’ project.
The Arsenal Way spoke to Belgian football expert Bart Lagae in September following the first initial link with the Club Brugge winger. Bart felt the striker would only move to the Gunners if they qualify for Europe’s elite tournament.
“I think Arsenal have a chance to sign him if he qualifies for the Champions League next season because that’s where his ambition lies,” Lagae said.
Interestingly though, Bart called Lang a ‘better player’ than Nicolas Pepe.
“I think for Arsenal it’s [Lang] can on both wings. For example, on the right, in the position of Nicolas Pepe,” Lagae explained.
“I would say he’s even more goal-focused and assist-focused than Pepe. He’s probably a better player.
“He can have a good combination with Saka. Saka the player running errands and Lang the setter. Lang doesn’t go deep without the ball; he always asks for the ball. So I think having him in combination with Saka and a striker, Aubameyang, etc., would work really well.
Perhaps Nicolas Pepe is the player who spends the summer opening the doors for Lang’s arrival.
football.london understood ahead of the January transfer window that Pepe would consider his options if his playing time didn’t improve.
Despite demands from Lyon and Marseille, Pepe stayed at Arsenal and Mikel Arteta even opened up about how the Ivorian impressed him with a renewed positive attitude.
His goal against Wolves proved vital to earn the three points and perhaps the catalyst the side needed to help them climb into the top four.
It remains to be seen whether he will stay with the club this summer, but the club appear ready to replace him should the 26-year-old move on.
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