Arsenal are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Leganes striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who is also on the radar of other European outfits.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s 2018-19 La Liga campaign with Leganes has drawn praise and attention for the Moroccan striker. According to Moroccan publication AS Sahifa, the forward is being tailed by the likes of Arsenal, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Real Betis.
The report adds that Arsenal have made contact with the player’s camp. But, it is Real Betis who lead the chase, with the club reportedly submitting an offer to Leganes for the striker while Schalke and Dortmund remain in the fray to sign En-Nesyri in the summer.
22-year-old En-Nesyri arrived in Spain in 2015. While he did receive his senior bow at Malaga, his statistics weren’t as impressive. But, his move to Leganes in 2018 seems to have paid off, for the club and the player, with En-Nesyri recording 11 goals in 34 games in all competitions this past season as the club finished a respectable 13th on the table.
While the return isn’t as impressive as other strikers in the top five European leagues, En-Nesyri was involved in 11 of the 37 goals Leganes scored in La Liga. This combined with his ability to play all across the front three makes him a viable prospect for other clubs, with Arsenal taking a keen look at the 22-year-old.
Unai Emery is set to be handed a constricted transfer budget excluding player sales after Arsenal’s inability to win the Europa League and in turn, qualify for the Champions League for the 2019-20 campaign. The Spaniard is thus, looking to add depth to his squad and the required players in certain areas to put up a better challenge in the coming season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette performed admirably for Arsenal. But, the two strikers are continuously linked with summer moves, especially after Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. Even if the two end up staying put, Emery would need another able striker, especially with the manager not handing too much responsibility to Eddie Nketiah right now.
An alternate way of looking at it could be that Emery might be looking to bring in En-Nesyri from Leganes to add an option that can play out wide, with Arsenal lacking natural wingers right now.
That the player could be available for a fee around €10 million, as translated by Arseblog, could enable Arsenal to add a striker to their squad while not taking a chunk out of their transfer budget.
We could see this move happening, especially with Emery pulling out a deal for Matteo Guendouzi out of thin air last season. En-Nesyri is a similarly unknown prospect to majority of the Arsenal fans and as per the report, the player does want a change of scenery and will assess his options before deciding on his future.
En-Nesyri is a viable option for Arsenal, considering how much the Leganes striker is likely to cost, his age and as a backup option to the two strikers. But, it is tough to see the 22-year-old be a regular face in the Arsenal playing eleven in the 2019-20 season.