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Arsenal facing Willian repeat with Timo Werner deal

Every transfer window throws up the odd surprise rumour, with the latest of those having seen Arsenal tipped to make a surprise swoop for Chelsea striker Timo Werner, despite the 26-year-old’s struggles at Stamford Bridge in recent seasons.

Reports in Spain have suggested that the Gunners are one of a handful of clubs across Europe who are eyeing a move for the Germany international, with Thomas Tuchel and co believed to be willing to sanction a departure before the September deadline.

There is no doubt likely to be a sense of incredulity among the Emirates faithful if these links are revealed to be accurate, such has been the torrid time that the former RB Leipzig man has endured in English football since his £45m arrival back in the summer of 2020.

Having arrived with a huge reputation after firing in 93 goals and providing 40 assists in just 158 games at his former club, the £268k-per-week speedster was expected to hit the ground running in the Premier League, although has ultimately flattered to deceive in the two years since.

While his willingness to run in behind and do the dirty work have been admirable – as has been noted by Gunners legend Ian Wright – the one-time Stuttgart man has frequently been mocked for his failings in front of goal, notably missing 18 big chances during his debut top-flight campaign in the 2020/21 season.

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While described as “one of the most unlucky strikers I’ve ever seen” by Wright, the general assessment has been that the £31.5m-rated is simply “wasteful” – as dubbed by Liam Twomey – having failed to really deliver for the Blues thus far.

On the surface, his record of 23 goals and 21 assists in 83 games for the west Londoners is respectable, yet a return of just ten league goals over the last two seasons combined is seemingly not up to scratch for a forward at an elite club.

To think Arteta and co are potentially considering making a move for the 53-cap dud appears somewhat foolish, with it looking as if the club could once again fall into the trap of feeding off the scraps of their London rivals.

Recent history has shown that not to be the wisest move, with the case of Willian, in particular, showcasing that Arsenal should broaden their horizons away from targetting those at Cobham.

The Brazilian may have largely been a success during his trophy-laden spell at Chelsea – scoring 61 goals and providing 62 assists in 337 games across all fronts – yet he was plucked by the Gunners while seemingly on the decline back in 2020, the club eventually forking out a hefty £220k-per-week wage to bring him to the Emirates.

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Despite netting two assists on debut against Fulham, that move ultimately backfired spectacularly, with it quickly becoming clear as to why the Blues weren’t so keen on handing the ageing winger a new, longer-term deal.

Such was the disastrous nature of his time at the club – where he scored just one goal in 37 outings in all competitions – the 70-cap menace ripped up his contract after just a solitary season, with the north London outfit left ruing what proved to be an expensive mistake.

While Werner may be younger and with plenty of time to revive his career, there should be concerns in again targetting a player who their rivals are seemingly so keen to get rid of.