The premature end of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season signalled the relegation of Toulouse and Amiens SC to the second tier of French football.
Both clubs are vowing to take legal action following the decision to curtail the French season, but in the meantime face the prospect of losing their best players in a relegation fire-sale.
Arsenal have been linked with two relegated Ligue 1 stars, Toulouse’s Ibrahim Sangare and Amiens’ Serhou Guirassy.
Sangaré is a holding midfielder known for his tackling and breaking up of opposition attacks. Guirassy is a centre-forward also capable of playing in a wider attacking role.
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If Arsenal were to move for one of these two players, Ivorian Sangaré should be their priority.
The 22-year-old’s contract expires in 2021 and he is Toulouse’s most saleable asset, so a summer move seems certain to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing next year
Guirassy’s Amiens deal runs until 2022, meaning he could potentially cost more than Sangaré if Arsenal were to try to free him from his current contract.
Stylistically, Arsenal are more in need of a solid, young number six than a Ligue 1 striker with nine goals to his name this season.
Sangare is proven as one of the league’s most efficient tacklers over the past few seasons and could add much-needed mettle to an Arsenal midfield which could lose Dani Ceballos and Lucas Torreira in the summer.
Guirassy on the other hand would add depth to Arsenal’s ranks in attack, but not come close to replacing the output of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette.
Before the current Arsenal duo made the switch to north London they had scored in double figures consistently across Europe’s top five leagues. Guirassy has been unable to hit double figures in any of his six full league seasons as a professional footballer.
Only six players in Ligue 1 this year have made more pressures than Sangaré, according to FBRef.com.
He is an energetic player who would cover the lateral spaces in front of Arsenal’s defence, an area which can sometimes be left exposed when Mattéo Guendouzi or Granit Xhaka amble upfield.
Likewise, no Ligue 1 player has won more tackles than Sangaré this season.
His figures may be skewed by the sheer volume of defending he has done with Toulouse, but his consistency in this area over the past two seasons suggest it is a facet of his game he has honed brilliantly.
Sangare is also conscientious with his positioning and tracks back like clockwork after carrying the ball forward, but his game is not only about defending.
Only two players attempting more than 50 dribbles this season boast a better success rate than Sangaré.
Playing in a ball-dominant side like Arsenal, he could thrive in a deep-lying role as the…