In the latest Lemar transfer rumours, Liverpool are reported to have had another offer rejected by Monaco, this time for close to £74mil. Reports suggest that Liverpool have now had at least four offers rejected for the French international (the others being of £30mil, £55mil and £65mil) Reports suggest Origi has been offered as part of the deal on loan. Arsenal had also shown interest.
We look at Thomas Lemar and the chances of him playing in the Premiership this season…
Nationality: 7 caps 2 goals
Position: attacking midfielder comfortable playing anywhere across the line, can also play wide midfield, either side
Reported Transfer Fee: £74mil + Origi on loan
2016/17 League Stats: 28 starts (6 sub appearances) 9 goals (10 assists)
Lemar has been the subject of much interest in the transfer window. Liverpool’s interest recently and Arsenal’s throughout the summer. Monaco’s position has been clear and firm however from the start, he is not sale. That may have been a ploy to up the asking price however.
Monaco have already lost Bernardo Silva, Mendy and Bakayoko whilst Mbappe is also being strongly linked to Paris Saint-Germain. The club may feel that they have lost enough players this window.
I can’t say I blame Monaco to be completely honest. After such a successful season both domestically and in Europe, a notable part of the squad has been ripped out. I expect some of it was planned or at least predicted but not all (like Mbappe’s imminent move to their main League rivals) Not only have they lost a notable number of players, all had been first team starters and their best performers. It seems they’ve reached a point where enough is enough.
Lemar had a great season last year personally and has shown he is another to come through at Monaco with huge potential. However it feels crazy to say this, considering the prices being talked about, I’m not completely convinced he’d be a guaranteed starter at Liverpool or Arsenal, certainly not straightaway.
Despite the squad weaknesses at either club the attacking midfield area is not one of them, at least not currently. Even taking into account Sanchez’s and Coutinho’s possible, imminent departures though I’m still not sure a lot would change.
Salah, Mane and Firmino look undroppable at the moment. Whilst even with Arsenal’s indifferent start to the season I’m still unconvinced Wenger would favour Lemar consistently enough over more established Premiership players in the squad. Welbeck, Ozil, possibly Sanchez, Walcott and Iwobi all pose decent competition to varying extents. All clearly have much more experience in England.
I believe if he were to join either team right now he’d be used as a rotational option initially. Without doubt if he continued to progress however he’d end up being the type of player who you’d build a team around. So for that reason alone, you can understand the serious interest.
I suspect given the appeal of the Premiership, the financial rewards and considering the departures at Monaco, Lemar may favour a move but he doesn’t seem to be pushing too hard, if he’s pushing at all. Whilst staying an extra year might not be a bad thing as he’s guaranteed more football at Monaco.
Bernardo Silva’s departure to Man City in particularly means Lemar’s importance to the the team in the wide attacking area is now all the more important. How new signing, Keita Balde will be used will be interesting and as of yet is unknown. He can fill in as a striker or as an attacking wide man but it shouldn’t effect Lemar’s chances too much.
Other than that ex-Man City youngster Marcos Lopes who has returned from a loan with Lille and new signing Ghezzal from Lyon look like they will provide the main alternatives to Lemar but they haven’t shown the same levels of quality.
Lemar, Lopes and Ghezzal all have similar experience levels in Ligue 1 but Lemar last season showed he’s not out of place in the Champions League and he’s a domestic champion. The others are just no where near as proven at the top levels as Lemar. Nor have they given the impression they have the same kind of potential.
Monaco is arguably European football’s main hot-bed for producing young talent at the moment too. There’s very few players better places to continue your footballing education. Great coaching and plenty of first team opportunities, why would any young player want to leave?
Who knows with an extra year under his belt the likes of Barcelona might come calling. There’s been suggestions that they’ve made enquiries already.
Given Monaco’s stance this one looks difficult for Liverpool. Will a bigger offer test Monaco’s resolve? Would Origi’s inclusion help pave the way for a deal? A lot is going is going to depend on Lemar I feel and his happiness. If Monaco feel that he’s too unsettled then they might make a U-turn and allow him to leave. The figures being talked about are hard to resist.
The same can be applied to Arsenal. The French connection may give them a slight edge but the rumours have quietened down recently. If they make a substantial offer they could test Monaco’s resolve as there’s no guarantees the fees being talked about will be on offer next summer.
I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Lemar is at a point of requesting a transfer so far though and given the players already lost it’s hard to see Monaco allow more at the moment.
Are Arsenal or Liverpool held in high enough regard or considered big enough teams at the moment to make Lemar turn his back on Monaco right now? He may feel it’s a better to hold out for a ‘bigger’ move…
So I’m unconvinced he’ll be leaving this window but fully expect him to move next summer and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was to a serious Champion’s League contender.
What’s your thoughts, will Monaco sell? Arsenal or Liverpool, which club would you favour?