Will this be a summer Arsenal finally hit their French midfield G-spot?
A trivia question to start. Can you name the five Frenchmen to have played in the Premier League for Arsenal with a surname starting with the letter G?
Olivier Giroud and William Gallas will probably be the pair that instantly spring to mind, while 1990’s Premier League title winners Gilles Grimandi and Remi Garde will be fondly remembered.
The answer that doubtlessly will pose the biggest problem is David Grondin, who managed only four appearances for the Gunners in a spell that involved numerous loan moves.
Looking back over the last few summers, Arsene Wenger has been linked with a number of other Gs from his homeland, especially in terms of bolstering his midfield.
Yoann Gourcuff has been targeted and Clement Grenier is one of the country’s brightest prospects, but it is a more defensive option that looks the most likely to arrive at the Emirates in this close season.
Maxime Gonalons is another that has been on Arsenal’s radar before, but this is the first time that Lyon have shown any inclination that they are willing to sell.
President Jean-Michel Aulas has indicated that his captain would be permitted to leave for the right price, with speculation that Arsenal have already tabled a bid somewhere in the region of £12m.
This could partly be down to Jordan Ferri now having experience in the first-team squad and being ready to hold down more of a regular starting spot.
Gonalons is something of a hybrid between Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, as he is more of a tackling holding midfielder than the former, but is not quite as assured with his distribution.
His leadership would also be of use as the Gunners have not always been the most organised with their midfield set-up this season, especially in terms of providing protection to the defence.
Arsenal’s odds are 9/1 to win the Premier League next season and adding a more enforcer-type midfielder would be a boost to their prospects.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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