Why Arsenal should reignite interest in signing Yannick Carrasco in January
The same report suggests that Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, currently managed by former Newcastle United and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, are exploring the possibility of selling the 26-year-old in January, with his Belgian compatriot Dries Mertens identified as a potential alternative.
Mertens is in the last year of his contract at Napoli and the 32-year-old will be free to discuss a pre-contract agreement with other clubs in January if he is not offered a new deal in Italy, meaning that his arrival at Dalian Yifang could pave the way for Carrasco to complete a return to top-level football. (h/t Sun)
It is widely-known that Arsenal hold a long-standing interest in Yannick Carrasco, having been linked with a move for the Belgian several times over the past twelve months.
The 26-year-old, who earns around £175,000-a-week in China would probably need to take a wage cut to join Arsenal but the Belgian is desperate to complete a move away from the Far East at all costs.
Although there is still a lot of time to go before the January window, his imminent availability is likely to put the Gunners on red alert and Unai Emery might as well look to go all out in his pursuit of the winger during the mid-season trading period to enhance his chances of challenging for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, Dalian Yifang’s decision to cash in on Carrasco could leave the door ajar for Arsenal to bring the Belgian to the Emirates and it should be a no-brainer for the Gunners to revisit their interest in the 2018 FIFA World Cup star.
Besides adding David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and William Saliba to their defensive ranks in the summer, Arsenal also completed a club-record deal for Nicolas Pepe to add more depth and firepower to their attack.
While Pepe is yet to hit the ground running in the Premier League, Emery should be happy with how things have panned out for his side early in the campaign.
Despite that, however, Arsenal should look to bring in a natural left-sided player in January following the departure of Alex Iwobi to Everton and with Danny Welbeck and Henrikh Mkhitaryan no longer in the ranks, it is easy to figure out that someone like Carrasco could add much-needed depth in a key area of the pitch for Unai Emery.
Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson are both capable of playing down the left but the Gabonese international is more of a threat in a centre-forward role, while the latter is still very young and relatively new to the Premier League.
Not only would Carrasco add more creativity to Arsenal’s attack with his pace, dribbling and accurate crossing from the left flank, but the Belgian’s arrival is also likely to hand a massive boost to Emery’s team dynamics, considering the 26-year-old’s ability to slot seamlessly into a left wing-back role.
Emery’s experiment with a back-three system last season didn’t always pay the dividends due to lack of proper personnel in the ranks but Carrasco, who often plays for Belgium in such a role, could be a better option as compared to the likes of Sead Kolasinac and Tierney for that matter.
Truth be told, the addition of Carrasco in January could prove to be the difference between a top-four finish and Europa League mediocrity for the Gunners.
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Still only 26, Carrasco is just about to enter his prime years as a footballer and Arsenal splashing the cash on the former Atletico Madrid man in January could help them reap rich rewards for plenty of years to come.