Mikel Arteta has made it abundantly clear that he will not accept a quiet transfer window from the club this summer. He has every intention of strengthening his squad and has demanded the full backing of Edu and Raul Sanllehi. The Spaniard has also gone on record to say that he refutes the idea of having to sell the club’s best players to raise funds for new signings. The board has responded to those claims by reassuring the head coach that funds will be made available. Rumours suggest the club are already working on deals for Thomas Partey and Dayot Upamecano. Reports today have emerged that the Gunners are now interested in signing Newcastle winger, Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Magpies’ future is uncertain due to a looming takeover from a Saudi Arabian consortium. If the Premier League continues to block this takeover, Newcastle will have no choice but to sell its best players to raise capital. That’s why the Gunners’ interest has now intensified, with Arteta pleased about the scouting reports he’s received concerning the player.
Twitter has been ablaze today with Arsenal fans reacting to the potential arrival of Allan Saint-Maximin. Some welcome the idea of the 23-year-old while others have questioned the pursuit.
Breakdown of Stats
This season, Saint-Maximin has been a shining light in a struggling Newcastle side. In 26 appearances, the 23-year-old has directly contributed to 8 goals. In addition to that, the flashy winger has averaged 4.6 dribbles a game, the second-highest total in the league only behind Adama Traore.
He is also one of the most fouled players in the league, on average getting fouled 1.5 times a game. In comparison to Arsenal’s current squad, Nicolas Pepe has completed 2.4 dribbles a game and has been fouled on average 0.9 times.
As an exciting winger full of flair and wizardry dribbling, Saint-Maximin would be a useful tool for Arteta to have. In fact, his dribbling ability would be an asset for any team in the league. However, it remains to be seen whether he’s most effective in a possession-based team or counter-attacking side.
Arsenal are a team that prefers to dominate possession and rely on ball retention, the 23-year-old’s insistence on dribbling might cause the Gunners a lot of turnovers. That’s why he has been dispossessed on average 1.9 times a game this season, something that Arteta may lose patience with quickly.
On the flip side, as the team that wants to dominate possession, Arsenal are often tasked with having to break down low-block teams. Saint-Maximin’s unpredictability in the final third would help destabilise low-blocks thus creating goalscoring opportunities for teammates.
The winner of this summer’s transfer window will be the team that can address their weakest points by spending the least amount of money. If signing Saint-Maximin will allow Arteta to deploy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a central striker, it’s a positive move. The Newcastle winger is in hot demand and as long as the Gunners address their defensive deficiencies first, he’d be a great asset to have.