Five reasons why Arsenal should complete £25m Houssem Aouar transfer on deadline day

The Lyon man has been a long-term target for Arsenal, but it's unclear whether they'll make a move before the transfer window closes next week

Five reasons why Arsenal should complete £25m Houssem Aouar transfer on deadline day

It was at last again all smiles in the Arsenal camp after they hammered Championship side West Bromwich Albion 6-0 in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup encounter to secure their first win of the campaign.

There were no signs of the blunt attacking performances we’d seen from the Gunners in their two previous Premier League matches, with a hat-rick from the returning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang plus goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette making it an easy evening's work for Mikell Arteta’s men.

But although the win acted as a timely confidence booster, the game came against a much-changed West Brom side who fielded six debutants, five of whom were teenagers.

Therefore it’s stating the obvious to say that Arsenal’s attacking woes haven’t simply disappeared overnight, and improvements will definitely still be needed, especially given there are much tougher Premier League tests ahead such as Manchester City this weekend.

And despite recently tying down Emile Smith Rowe on a new long-term contract, and signing Martian Odegaard from Real Madrid, the Gunners still look light in terms of key creative and attacking profiles.

Therefore bringing in at least one new top-class attacker seems a necessity if Arteta’s men are to compete with the league’s best this season. One such player who offers exactly what they need is long-time target Houssem Aouar.

Although the Lyon man spent some time sidelined as a result of a muscle injury last season, he still registered an impressive eight goals and six assists. That broke down to a high 0.62 goal contribution average per 90 across the campaign.

His profile is uniquely exciting in that he can play both in the attack, but also in a deeper central midfield role, and is capable of excelling in each.

As a midfielder, he’s an outstanding progresser of the ball, whether that be via defence-splitting passes or dribbling up the pitch. Notably, his average of 3.17 progressive runs per 90 last season could be bettered by only two other Ligue 1 midfielders who played more than 1,000 minutes.

When operating further up the pitch in a more attacking role, his movement and skill make him adept at creating shooting opportunities for both himself and team-mates around him.

According to FBref, in terms of shot-creating actions, his average of 5.1 per 90 last season ranked as the second-highest at Lyon behind Memphis Depay and the fifth-highest across the whole of Ligue 1.

As it stands, Aouar has two years left on his current Lyon deal and he is thought to be weighing up his options.

If he sees his future away from Lyon, then this window is the prime time for them to sell the 23-year-old for maximum profit, or risk seeing his value depreciate the closer his contract runs to expiry.

This should make the attacker more attainable from an Arsenal point of view, if they choose to make a move. And put bluntly, based on the impact he could have on their attack in terms of significantly boosting their output, they should.