Wenger opens up on Lemar & Mbappe interest

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Arsene Wenger admits he’s open to making more signings this summer and that Monaco duo Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe are players of interest, however, there remains nothing concrete on either front at this stage.

The Gunners are reported to have made strong bids for both players as they look to strengthen a squad that last season failed to make the top four for the first time since 1996.

Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette have already been recruited but with question marks hanging over key squad players, including Alexis Sanchez, the club seems determined to mitigate for any key departures.

On arrival in Australia, Wenger was quizzed on his summer spending plans, saying: “I am open to get some more signings, but it is not easy to find the players who can strengthen our squad, because we have top-quality players.

“There are two ways to improve always: analyse what we did well last season and what we did not so well and improve that, and then you can bring new players in.

“At the moment, because we are in pre-season, it is very important for us to analyse well what happened last season and where we can improve. We have top quality in our squad, and at the moment I focus on that.”

On Lemar, who is believed to be open to a move to the Emirates, he noted: “That’s all speculation at the moment, there is nothing really concrete about any signing.

“He’s a player that we have looked at, but the rest is only speculation.”

The Gunners are believed to have lodged a bid in excess of €100 million for Mbappe only for Monaco to reject the approach, along with others from Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid.

“He’s a player who, when he gets up in the morning, can choose where he wants to go,” said Wenger of his young compatriot.

“There are not many players with that kind of luck, because he’s only 18 years of age and has the whole of Europe rolling out a red carpet for him.

“Nobody can say they are not interested in a player of that calibre, because he has such immense quality at 18 years of age. All the clubs are open and interested in him.”

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60 Comments on "Wenger opens up on Lemar & Mbappe interest"

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Brian

I think you mean: The Gunners are reported to have made strong bids for both players as they look to strengthen a squad that failed to make the top four ** for the first time ** since 1996.

Paul

He’s bright,that Arsene.

Mein Bergkampf

Deflecting more than a Frank Lampard special.

Donald\'s Trump

Top top quality.

Arghhhhhhhh

Anonymarse

Sounds like the rumours are all bullshit

Anonymarse

Which isn’t surprising

Mein Bergkampf

Well he’s not just going to come out and say “we’ve had two bids rejected but hopefully the third will do the trick”. I don’t think we can ever assume Wenger is giving us the whole story.

Trex D Gunner

Arsene is a sly old fox. He won’t want to put Dick and co at a disadvantage by coming out to reveal our interest in those two guys

Gandalf

It genuinely surprises me how this still needs to be explained to some people.

Wenger’s been here 20 years folks, get with the program.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

There are always newcomers, which is a good thing for the Arsenal family. Just means we have a duty to instruct and pass the baton on what it means to be a fan of The Arsenal 😉

Anonymarse

No I’m sure he isn’t but he could well be telling the truth here.

Lemar makes more sense if Alexis is going, which it sounds like he isn’t.

Mein Bergkampf

If we’ve learned anything from the Mbappe saga is that we need to act decisively and ruthlessly. What’s to say Lemar won’t be worth 100m next summer? I don’t think the Sanchez saga should affect our business at all this summer.

bfollinprm

Yeah, we almost certainly need a Lemar-type next year, so if we have identified him as a target, bring him in now.

Anonymarse

Mbappe for 100m always sounded like bullshit, and now we have got Lacazette.

bfollinprm

It’s the right number, so I buy it. This is roughly the opportunity cost of keeping Alexis this year (£50 million in wages and lost transfer fee) plus signing him to a 4 year contract (£50 million more than a player on £160k would make in the same time frame).

If we could sign Mbappe for £160k/week for 4 years on a £100 million transfer fee, and if we consider Mbappe to be similar in quality to Alexis, it’s good transfer business. That wage is reasonable for an 18 year-old superstar, and Wenger talks as if he thinks Mbappe is already world class, so I buy that we made a bid.

Not sure if anyone at the club ever thought the bid would succeed, though. We had to have sounded out Mbappe’s interest pretty thoroughly just last year when we tried to get him to join on a free.

NorthernGoon

It bothers me that the more I see your name the more it makes me laugh at how clever it is. And just to be on point for a moment; you’re absolutely right, he’s always been a master of evasion I wouldn’t expect him to change now in his twilight year (career wise).

Hannovarian

Bidding for Mbappe was definitly worth a shot but always unrealistic. Focus should lie on Lemar and maybe one more addition. Oh this transfer window is positively exciting. Surely a need for deals though – with new players and current ones, otherwise next summer could get hectic.

goongot

I wanted mbappe so badly,but now that we have laca i am more inclined towards the signing of lemar.

Goooooooner for life

If we buy Mbappe (I know), what does that mean for Lacazette? Replacement for Alexis on the left wing? Or if Alexis stays, do we keep rotating forwards game in game out? Not an Arsene kind of way. I just dont see us spending 50+130 million something for players just to rotate them. So Unless something spectacular happens I dont see Mbappe anymore.

If we but Lemar on the other hand, he can replace Walcott/OX on the right, or fill some of the burden if Alexis leaves. Lemar does seem like a win win!

Flashmob

Lemar plays almost exclusively on the left (and sometimes in the middle).
As I see it: if we loose Alexis – buying Lemar is a must. And we would be still short of quality (not because Lemer is not a quality player, but let’s be honest at the moment Alexis is at a different level).

If we loose the Ox, i think we would be in a serious trouble either, because there is nobody in our squad who can play as a wingback on the similar level (Walcott’s defending is poor, Bellerin’s has no meaningful dribbling/attacking potential).

So I think even if Lemar is a very talented player – our priority defenitely should be to keep the Ox and Alexis. To get Lemar is much less important.

Terry Neill - never again
Terry Neill - never again

Ooh let’s not drop Ian Wright for this kid Anelka and who the hell are Pires & Llungberg?

Flashmob

🙂 Wright was 34 when Anelka arrived
Ljunberg played almos at the same position than the Ox and was 22 when he arrived. Oxlade Chamberlain is 23 and is on the verge of leaving…
…and as I said: “Lemar is a very talented player” so…
In your words: OK – Let’s try to buy Pires, but the preference is to keep the 28 year old Wright and the 22 year old Ljunberg.

Tasmanian Jesus

To me, Bellerin is first choice in that position. But Maitland-Niles would be an excellent backup!

Flashmob

Well, in the last 6 games when the Ox was fit, Wenger opted for him ahead of Bellerin 5 times…

(I think Bellerin is a very good defender with sound attacking skills, but his short/long passing, ball control, dribbling skills are way behind of the Ox’s)

PFo

I think you’re probably right, but I think if Alexis does leave, there’s probably space–even in our existing formation–for both Mbappe and Lacazette, and with neither being banished to the wing: we’re currently playing a 3-4-3, with Alexis and Ozil as left and right “inside forwards” behind a lone center forward, but it would be fairly straightforward to invert that attacking trio and put Ozil behind a (mobile and interchanging) duo of Lacazette and Mbappe, in a traditional 3-5-2, which, after all, was the standard formation back in the 90’s for teams that played with a back three. It doesn’t really sacrifice much defensively provided that one or both of the two forwards are willing to work defensively, drop deep for the ball, and cover the wings to some degree. I think Lacazette and Mbappe are both more than willing and able to play in this mobile way, and it means neither gets “demoted” to playing as a midfielder or winger, rather than a striker. Indeed, Mbappe played in a strike partnership with Falcao last season, and Lacazette has also played in a front two before.

But as I said, I don’t think this works if Alexis stays, nor can I see how Ozil, Lemar, Mbappe, and Lacazette can all start happily in our system. We’d have to revert to a 4-2-3-1, or maybe a flexible 4-4-2, and even then not sure that would be ideal.

PFo

I’m sure this is all academic, since I agree there is very little chance of us signing Mbappe now.

bfollinprm

This would definitely be the plan if Mbappe came, or a 4-3-1-2. Both will require much more defensive effort from Ozil than he’s used to.

If we bought BOTH Mbappe and Lemar, well, that’d be just crazy. If you meant Ozil, Lemar, Alexis, and Lacazette, I don’t think that the plan would be to put all 4 on the pitch at the same time; rather Lemar is heir apparent to Alexis, who leaves at the end of the season.

Midgunner

You forget, in the new system we don’t have a Walcott/Ox spot on the right.

Three attackers – Sanchez, Ozil and Laca.

B1G_D

Shows how much the game has changed. 20 years ago Mbappe would’ve been an unknown player. Called Thierry Henry.

Hannovarian

Bidding for Mbappe was definitly worth a shot while also being unrealistic.
This transfer window actually has an exciting positive feel to it!
Should concentrate on getting new deals done – with current players and new ones (Lemar + X?). Otherwise next summer could get hectic

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Following Lacazette don’t feel there will be another striker signed. I would have preferred Mbappe to join, but Lacazette is top level as well.

Lemar seems on course. There are also Mahrez reports floating. Atleast 1 of them ought to be signed.

Midgunner

If we can keep Ox, Sanchez (for a year) and Ozil, I don’t feel we need more attackers.

What we do need is a top quality central midfielder to offer true competition for Ramsey and Xhaka.

I have no idea who that might be though…

bfollinprm

I think the buy is for next year, recognizing that the hole is going to come, and making sure the replacement is integrated. In the meantime we add depth.

bfollinprm

I think if Mbappe wanted to come we’d accommodate him even after the striker buy. Lacazette can play out wide as an inverted winger (as can Mbappe of course, but he’d only come if we gave him the center forward spot). We could also switch to a 4-3-1-2. I think it would mean we sell Alexis to City though to cover the investment, and I’m not too thrilled about that.

trf

I’ll take Lemar AND Mahrez as our final two signings, please. Two fantastic, skilled wingers with pace to burn.

An attack of Alexis/Lemar on the left, Lacazette in the center, and Mahrez on the right — with wingbacks Kolasinac and Bellerin/Ox overlapping at pace — and Ozil supplying the ammunition — would, with the newfound stability at the back, win the title.

Just do it Arsene.

cazorla\'s smile

So we are basically playing a 4 man attack or did I miss Ozil becoming a deep lying mid.

Fletcher

I think in such a defining season we need experience, for that i would go for Mahrez over Lemar,but I wouldn’t mind having them both too.

Martin

No he’s a one season wonder and apparently moody. Lemar definitely.

Tasmanian Jesus

To me, Lemar has proved as much as Mahrez. Hes younger and will still improve.
So I say, Lemar.

Harish P

“…as they look to strengthen a squad that failed to make the top four since 1996.”

Heh. Read to me like we hadn’t been in the top four since 1996.

Savage

Imagine that life!

not so fed up

I’d rather not imagine being a spud 😉😂

IamsterdamGooner

Is Le Boss not usually a bit more evasive bout specific names? 🤔 I mean more on the Lemar front…

Dennis, please let it happen! 🙏🏾

Jdog

He’s a tease that Arsene! Have a good feeling about this. If he pulls off mbappe (which he won’t, will he??)…wooowza

adgonner

Can I dare say I don’t really rate mbappe that much?

Rwandan Gunner

Wenger is an intelligent man. Always sounding phylosophical but with some hints. He reminds me about my dad when i was young going back to school. I asked him about extra up keep money. He doesnt answer me, but as i leave on the last day, he says: son have this as well. So, Wenger might give us either Mbappe or Lemar. Good times

Rich

If Arsene has a chance to sign Mbappe I don’t think he’ll blink.
He screwed up royally with Suarez, just missed the boat with Ronaldo, couldn’t get a work permit for Messi or Ronaldinho.
If he can get Mbappe? and Lacazette had to take a bit part role as a result, Arsene would simply be doing his job

Domi

Wenger opens up? Clickbait article.

Sidkid

This Mbappe and Lemar stuff is taking too long .. we should go out and sign Salomon Kalou while he’s still available

Shonky

Analyse this Wenger!!…..we didn’t finish in the top four because of the terrible way you handled your own contract situation!
You were the weakest link all along.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Not a Wenger in fan. But in this situation the blame probably is more on gazidis, kroenke and whoever else is in charge

ClockEndRider

” they look to strengthen a squad that failed to make the top four since 1996.”.
For the first time. Kinda crucial omission before the usual doommongers get carried away…

Santori

As suspected, he is following prices and waiting to pounce.

The longer it drags the more likely prices will come down to more realistic levels as suitors commit themselves and pull out.

Its not for the feint of heart and Wenger is one of the best in the business.

He’s already hedged on Alexis departure and prepared to replace with Lacazette added to cover goals. IF should the Chilean leave, he only needs add one more for the technical/unpredictable element Alexis brings.

Lemar is more efficient and has a magic left peg. Mbappe has tremendous potential bc we can all feel tangibly that Wenger may fancy converting him higher up field when Giroud leaves. If Mbappe is sign, Giroud may likely leave.

All will depend on Alexis.

Mahrez is possibility still with leicester trying to talk tough but you get the feeling they will want the 40-45m to reinvest sooner than later. It will be daft not to.

Christopher Wreh of Light
Christopher Wreh of Light

Obviously I’d love Mbappe & Lemar to join but I can’t help but feel like Mbappe is off to Real Madrid especially with them getting rid of James Rodriguez. Above all I hope we address the absence of Santi the team just didn’t tick without him…

Determined Culture

The day arsene retirws i hope he writes a series of books detailing transfers (misses, players gotten, players sold to build the stadium etc), and other aspects of football and opinions. I’d buy that.

Ausdrexler

I suspect Arsenes Story would be one of the big sellers!
He would probably hold out for a movie deal though.

Ausdrexler

hahaah just noticed the picture… pmsl. good one.

jason

Wenger must recruit now,wallcott, wilshere and chambers should be surplus, u dont get consistency out of them so we need to sharpen those positions. Ross barkley, lemar and mahrez. If ox wants to go let him go. There is plenty talent in the academy and like bellerine they need to be unleashed. Gibbs and debuchy must stay, I like those however, we need to play them. Nacho was our best player last season.

Jacob

I don’t mean this as a criticism of Arsene but he sometimes buys players that we don’t necessarily have an obvious space for in the team purely because they’re a great player and their availability on the market is too good an opportunity to turn down. I think Alexis and Ozil were both examples of this, and, if we do somehow get Mbappe, it will be another example of this. I’m actually glad that there isn’t an obvious hole for Mbappe in the team because realistically we won’t get him, and for once we’re looking more likely to have too many players in that position than not enough.

Lemar is a really interesting one because he looks like a long term prospect. Based on his game, good dribbling in tight spaces, excellent vision, superb delivery and dead ball ability, long range shooting and adaptability to play deeper in midfield, he looks more like a long term Ozil replacement than someone to immediately take Sanchez’ place, and why not? Even Ozil’s biggest fans can’t deny his form has been patchy, and if we didn’t have the confusion over the contracts of Ox and Sanchez there would be a lot more focus on Ozil not signing a contract. He will most definitely be here next year, after that, who knows? He would need to have a really, really, really good season this year for us to want to break the bank and give him the kind of money he’s rumoured to want from us, and personally I would be much happier if we were in a position to say ‘no thanks, we’ve got a 22 year old Thomas Lemar with a season’s premier league experience under his belt ready to take your place in the team.’

Sturds

So it’s fair to say Lemar is 50/50…I’ll get my coat.

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