Recently, Arsenal have been one of the five or so teams linked to 21-year-old, Ligue 2 player Pape Gueye. Playing for Le Havre and making a few appearances in the under-18 and under-19 French team, he has come onto the scene showcasing technical qualities and many intangibles that have the likes of Arsenal, Ac Milan, Fiorentina, Sevilla, and more interested.
Of course, this link is a little premature as no move could be made until the summer for him but there are a lot of things to like about him, especially with the turnover Arsenal is likely to see in the near future as they look to rebuild under Arteta.
Things to like:
- Plays a Defensive Center Midfield role appearing in most matches
- Being 21-years-old fits in with some of the rising stars of Arsenal – Gabi, Saka, Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe, or Willock to help stack players growth and chemistry
- Has captained his side in a handful of games
- Noticed by French national team
- £6M price tag
- 21-years-old also means he is a tough player to project
- Playing for Ligue 2 doesn’t condemn him, but is not directly translatable to the Premier League
- Potential discipline problems – 22 appearance, 5 yellows and 1 Red (second yellow)
A 21-year-old getting this much attention, with a price tag of £6M, that plays a position Arsenal need some depth in? Why Not!
Gueye would not be the final piece to the puzzle or the solution that Arsenal has been looking for this year, but with question marks around Xhaka’s future at the club, the knowledge that Torreira cannot play every game in a season, and the fact that Arsenal struggle to run the machine without a solid CDM – it makes sense they are linked to Gueye.
Given the fact that at his young age he has captained his side suggests a level of maturity rare amongst many young stars. He could be the exact type of player Mikel has suggested he likes in that role – someone who is smart, aggressive, mature, and can help command the midfield. The only few potential worries could be replacing Xhaka with another player prone to discipline issues or he proves unable to make the jump to a Premier League level. Both risks are ones many teams would be willing to take on a young player with such a reasonable price tag. Definitely one to keep tabs on as the summer window approaches.