Why Arsenal should make a move for Thomas Meunier in January
Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier has refused to rule out January transfer amid uncertainty over his future at the club.
The Belgian international, 27, has entered the final 12 months of his contract at Parc des Princes.
There has been no suggestion his deal will be extended, however, with the full-back heading towards free agency as a result. He wants to earn a contract extension at PSG, but concedes that his situation has become a bit complex.
During the summer transfer window, Arsenal were one of the clubs interested in signing Thomas Meunier. With the Belgian’s future at PSG uncertain, the Gunners must rekindle their interest and make a move for him in January.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery released Stephan Lichtsteiner at the end of last season that left him with Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as options at right-back.
Bellerin has been Emery’s first-choice option at right-back or right wing-back but the Spaniard has been out on the sidelines after rupturing his cruciate ligament in January. He is expected to return to full training this month.
Since Bellerin got injured, Maitland-Niles, who is actually a defensive midfielder by trade, has filled in.
Truth be told, he has done a commendable job on the whole, although there have been some shaky moments for the academy graduate. And while Maitland-Niles continues to repay Emery’s faith, Arsenal would do a world of good if they manage to land him in January.
Meunier arrived at PSG the same season as Emery, and he made 70 appearances under the Spaniard in their two campaigns together. He faced competition from Dani Alves in the last campaign, yet managed to make 31 appearances.
In that period, the 27-year-old contributed with five goals and seven assists, demonstrating the kind of attacking contribution he can offer on the right flank.
The ex-Club Brugge man is a versatile customer, who is capable of not only playing as a right-back but also as a wing-back, right-sided midfielder or in an advanced role on the right. Meunier is fantastic on the overlap and providing width to his team.
He is an able dribbler and a superb crosser of the ball, something which could potentially see poachers like Alexander Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang thrive inside the box.
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At 27, Meunier still has his best years ahead of him, and he would provide great competition for Bellerin and Maitland-Niles.
The PSG man has made close to 350 senior appearances for club and country and that kind of experience could be a real asset for Arsenal.
Meunier might not be an upgrade on Bellerin, but he has plenty to contribute and would be a strong option, particularly on a potential cut-price deal in January.