According to a report published by ESPN, Houssem Aouar is ready to see off interest from Arsenal in the hope that one of Barcelona or Real Madrid will come calling for his services in the summer transfer window.
Aouar has been linked to Arsenal for over a year now, with the London outfit in dire need of a creative force in their midfield. The board, led by owners KSE, decided to splash out cash for Thomas Partey in the summer instead of going all-out for a more attack-minded midfielder, namely Aouar, who was available for the same amount.
Several underlying problems of the team have come to the forefront this season, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe underperforming. Consequently, 20-year-old Emil Smith Rowe, and 19-year-old Bukayo Saka have been sharing the burden of imagination in the team.
The decision not to pursue Aouar may have come back to bite them, though. Lyon are not ready to sell their most prized possession in the winter, especially given their position in the Ligue 1 table. The French outfit are just two points off the first-spot, and serious contenders for the title.
Additionally, Aouar, too, is ready to waive off interest from Arsenal in the hope of joining one of Real Madrid in the summer and his decision in June will ultimately depend on either club’s interest in for his signature. Barcelona have not been linked with a move for the 22-year-old but were in for a move for his partner in crime, Memphis Depay. Even that transfer seems to have fallen through now, after Ronald Koeman’s meeting with the presidential candidates.
Aouar has scored three goals and set up an additional three for his teammates in the league this season and remains one of the best midfielders in the French league. However, for all his quality, a spot in Barcelona’s midfield may be tough to come by, though, given the meteoric rise of Pedri, and the promise shown by the likes of Riqui Puig and Ilaix Moriba. Their arch-rivals, Madrid, however, may have a spot opening soon enough, with Luka Modric on the last juncture of his career.
Official: Barcelona confirm Pedri muscular injury
All victories come with a cost and Barcelona’s great triumph over Sevilla is no exception. Sadly, the Catalans’ young prodigy, Pedri, had to leave the pitch in the second half of the clash and now, the club has officially confirmed that the 18-year-old had sustained a muscular injury.
As of right now, however, we still don’t know how serious it is and we’ll have to wait for further information, which is most likely to arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately, the early speculations are not good as it seems Pedri could indeed be out of commission for a couple of weeks at least.
Needless to say, that’s a huge hit for Barcelona since the schedule is unrelenting. Soon, it will be time to face Sevilla again in the Copa del Rey and also Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Doing so without Pedri could indeed be troublesome.
But we also have to wonder how did it come to this injury. The 18-year-old is a key member of the squad so it’s understandable Ronald Koeman would want him to play all the time.
However, that might be the very crux of the problem too. With so little rest in-between the games, it was just a matter of time before Pedri’s body could take no more.
Still, not all is lost and he should be back in time to help Barcelona finish the season strong. And besides, now the youngster can finally get some well-deserved rest.
Hopefully the team can manage without him for a short period of time.