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Sven Mislintat has made quite the impact at Arsenal since he took over as the club’s head of recruitment last year, but neither he nor Unai Emery can afford to rest on their laurels in their effort to restore Arsenal’s credentials as a potential Premier League title winner.
With the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis and Lucas Torreira all now residing with the Arsenal squad, Emery has the foundations of a solid spine to work with.
The latter, in particular, has been an intriguing player to watch since he arrived in north London. A midfield anchor by trade who started his career as an attacking midfielder, Torreira cuts a bullish figure on the field of play with a finesse in his technique which points towards his footballing roots.
On the evidence of his well-balanced performances thus far, it’s fair to say that the Uruguayan lynchpin could establish himself as an integral component of a new dawn at Arsenal, but who exactly will play alongside him?
Well, as a defensive minded midfielder who seldom bursts into the final-third, Arsenal would be wise to partner him with a box-to-box midfielder whose late runs into the penalty area are both elusive and decisive.
Emery has a dream candidate for the aforementioned role in Aaron Ramsey, but the Spaniard will need to source an alternative after his 2019 departure was confirmed earlier this week.
And according to a recent report from French media outlet RMC Sport, Emery has already identified a replacement in Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, although he will face competition from Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain for his signature.
The report claims that the Hornets have slapped a 40 million euro (£35 million) price tag on his head, which actually represents an attractive price in the current market.
With a proven track record of delivering high quality performances in the Premier League – against opposition at both ends of the table – it’s easy to understand why the Gunners are monitoring his situation.
A return of 7 goals and 4 assists from 37 league appearances last season serves to validate common perception that the Frenchman is a threat to be feared in the final-third and, with a further 4 assists from 10 fixtures already this season, there is no disputing his naturally potency.
If Doucoure continues to perform at the level he has consistently produced since the start of the previous campaign, Mislintat should be recommending the 25-year-old to Emery as the perfect candidate to partner Torreira next summer.