Despite having bigger needs elsewhere, Arsenal keep looking at midfielders, specifically French, young and talented, to bolster the squad next season. The next intriguing name? Clement Grenier of Qlympique Lyon, who is often compared to Samir Nasri, a former Arsenal player, but is probably a lot more like his teammate, Yoann Gourcuff, in his style, positioning and even looks.
According to Arsene Wenger, spending a lot of time speaking to the French media as of late, part of his analysis for the Champions League final, Grenier is someone Arsenal have been following for some time, extremely impressed with his style and his intelligence of play, as Wenger himself put it.
Grenier, 22, has a few appearances for the U-21 French side, and has broken into the Lyon lineup over the last couple of seasons, finally becoming one of the team’s most important players this year, playing 27 times in the league while scoring six goals and adding 8 assists. He has a terrific long range shot and some elegant demeanor to his dribbling and distrubition, although some might say he seems a bit soft. Maybe life in the Premier League can roughen him up a bit.
A product of the fantastic Lyon academy, Grenier becomes a free agent at the end of the 2013-2014 season, which means that unless Lyon tie him up on a long term contract this summer, he might be available for free in about six-seven months time.
This means it might be the perfect time to try and negotiate a decent price for the youngster, who is valued at around €5 million by some, but will probably be fetching a slightly higher price if Premier League teams are involved in the negotiations.
It is worth mentioning that Grenier has been troubled by tendinitis in his patella during his late teenage years, which is something that might come back at a certain point. Despite his huge leap forward over the last couple of seasons, the amount of matches and load he can take might be limited, especially in a tougher, faster and more physical league.