Where Houssem Aouar would fit in at Arsenal and who will have to miss out

With the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, Arsenal addressed an area of their team widely viewed as a glaring weakness last season – central defence.

Indeed, the Brazilian should make the Gunners less of a soft touch at the back, with the 22-year-old already making a difference in terms of the way Mikel Arteta’s side play out from defence.

Another clear deficiency in the current Arsenal team is in their lack of creativity through the centre of the pitch.

Mesut Ozil was statistically the Gunners’ most prolific key passer in the Premier League last season and the German didn’t make a single appearance after lockdown.

Dani Ceballos gave Arsenal some drive through midfield, averaging 1.2 key passes per Premier League outing last season, but the Spaniard was used in a deep-lying position by Arteta in the final few weeks and months of the campaign. The Gunners need someone in a more advanced role closer to the opposition penalty area.

Dani Ceballos grabbed an assist in Arsenal’s win over West Ham last week

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This is where many envisage Houssem Aouar operating. The Lyon playmaker has been strongly linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, with Aouar keen to join Arsenal this summer.

The Gunners remain in negotiations with Lyon and could offer the player a contract until 2025 should a breakthrough come.

While Lyon struggled in Ligue 1 last season, missing out on European qualification altogether, Aouar was a key figure as the French club made an unexpected run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Houssem Aouar has reportedly agreed to join Arsenal this summer
(Image: GETTY)

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