The 22-year-old Frenchman has all the makings of a typical Arsene Wenger signing – he’s French, he young, he’s cheap and he’s very very good.
The attacking midfielder is hailed in his homeland as ‘the next Samir Nasri’ and comparisons to his former Arsenal compatriot are not all that far off – he is exceptionally technically gifted with the ball at his feet.
He likes to run at the opposition much like Nasri did during his time at the Emirates, he can take a mean free kick and his passing is sublime. He’s notched up 7 goals and 5 assists for Lyon this term in just 20 starts. His future looks very very bright indeed.
He also happens to be entering the final year of his contract this summer and has as yet not announced that he wishes to remain with Lyon.
He has revealed that he knows where his future lies and the club have in fact received an offer from an unnamed club. He also suggested he has discussed his imminent departure with his coach Remi Garde, a former Arsenal man.
However, should he be unveiled as Wenger’s newest addition to the French ex-pats family at Arsenal, where exactly would he play? Current Arsenal rely on Santi Cazorla as their midfield nucleus – he has been deployed on the left flank but the majority of this term he has functioned as the attacking playmaker in a central role.
Behind him is the injury-plagued Jack Wilshere who will undergo surgery and hope to be back with ample time for a decent pre-season. Then there’s Theo Walcott on the right flank and Lukas Podolski on the left with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho provided cover for the widemen whilst Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky provide cover in midfield.
Presumably, Grenier as an attacking midfielder usually occupying a central role just behind the striker would be brought in as an alternative to Cazorla and Wilshere – the Spaniard especially featured in every single one of Arsenal’s Premier League games in his debut season in England.
Meanwhile, Rosicky isn’t getting any younger and the perpetually-injured Abou Diaby is unlikely to make much of an impact if he ever does fully recover, as sad as that is. Wherever Wenger intends to deploy him, Grenier would be a fantastic addition to the Gunners’ squad – a quality young player who is eager to impress.
He is valued around £5 million and due to his imminently expiring contract I wouldn’t expect Lyon to gain much more than that from potential suitors, despite the posturing of their president, who compared him to Gotze - as Lyon are simply not in a strong position due to his contract.
Samir Nasri cost the North Londoners £12 million in 2008 when he was just 20 years of age. Grenier at 22 is ready to hit the ground running and could cost just a fraction of the price they paid for Nasri who they sold for £25 million to Manchester City in 2011.
Grenier would be a very astute signing by the French boss and he is exactly the kind of signing I would expect Wenger to make this summer, especially given the departure of Andrei Arshavin, along with the fitness concerns for Rosicky, Diaby and, to a lesser extent, Wilshere.
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