Canal+ African expert Ledo Deroin stated on Tuesday that Wissam Ben Yedder was at the centre of a tug-of-war between Sevilla and Arsenal. He even suggested that a move could be completed in the coming hours. The reporter is believed to have close links with the Toulouse forward, which makes it an interesting story. The Frenchman has been linked with Sevilla all summer and was set to sign before Jorge Sampaoli took the head coach role, when the move was put on hold. Luciano Vietto is set to join the Spanish side, which could lead to them stepping aside in the chase for Ben Yedder.
This link to Arsenal has raised some eyebrows and appears to have come from nowhere. It comes after Lyon released a statement about Arsenal’s interest in Alexandre Lacazette, denying that a £40m bid has been submitted from the Gunners. This public statement is likely to anger the Gunners, who like to do their business quietly and they may move lower down their list of striking targets as a result. Although Wissam Ben Yedder isn’t a household name, he has been a good player in Ligue 1 over the last few years. Arsene Wenger has a deep knowledge of French football and Ben Yedder will be a player he knows a lot about.
The Toulouse forward is available this summer as his contract runs out at the end of the season and the French club want to cash in while they can. Last season, he was one of the top scorers in the division, with only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lacazette and Edinson Cavani scoring more. Ben Yedder found the back of the net 17 times, the same as Michy Batshuayi, who has joined Chelsea this summer. His contribution is even more impressive, given his side Toulouse were firmly entangled in the relegation fight. Over the last four seasons, Ben Yedder has never scored fewer than 14 league goals, a remarkable achievement in a side like Toulouse.
He is capable of playing either as a nine or ten, and would bring something different to the Arsenal attack. Ben Yedder is skilful and capable of beating defenders to make space for himself in the final third. He has great technique and his ability to run with the ball will make him an exciting player to watch if he comes to England. As you would expect from his goalscoring statistics, he is a strong finisher in the penalty area. He can also score from direct free kicks, as shown on a few occasions for Toulouse. In terms of creativity, he has the ability to drop deep and play dangerous through balls to break down a defence.
Although he offers great value for money, with the believed asking price being €10m, there will be doubts cast if Arsenal sign him. Firstly, the French game is slower and he gets more time to do things on the ball. The physicality of the Premier League will take some time to adjust to, and he is not the big name striker that Arsenal wanted this summer. After being linked with Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata and Lacazette, the supporters will be disappointed if the only striker they sign turns out to be Ben Yedder. They have a great opportunity to challenge for the league this season and Ben Yedder isn’t the striker to fire them there.
Ben Yedder is a great talent and would be a good addition to the Arsenal squad, but they would need to bring in another forward if they were to challenge for the title. Olivier Giroud and Ben Yedder are both good strikers and between them, would score enough goals to get Arsenal a top four finish. However, neither will strike fear into their title rivals and once again show that Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to gamble in the transfer market. The Arsenal striker search is going to heat up over the coming weeks and Ben Yedder is an interesting link, but isn’t the man to answer their problems up front.