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Arsenal should avoid moving for Yacine Brahimi on a free transfer

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to La Gazette du Fennec, Arsenal are in “very advanced talks” to sign Yacine Brahimi on a free transfer this summer following the expiration of his deal with Porto.

What’s the word?

Brahimi’s five-year stay with the Portuguese giants came to an end this summer and the report claims that Unai Emery is keen to bring the Algerian international to the Emirates.

It adds that despite reported interest and potential competition from Turkish sides like Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas, Brahimi wants the “sporting and financial” rewards of a move to the Premier League.

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A free transfer will likely mean the winger’s wage demands will be comparatively high and the Gunners may be expected to fork out a significant signing-on fee.

An unwise move

One of Arsenal’s biggest weaknesses last season was their lack of attacking potency from their wide players. Both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi had underwhelming campaigns, particularly in terms of their end product, and so it has been no surprise to see Emery look towards signing a new winger.

But at 29-years-old, Brahimi – who is valued at £18.9m by Transfermarkt – may not be the answer to their solutions.

Despite scoring ten times in the Liga NOS last season, his performances in Porto’s Champions League run were virtually non-existent. His nine games in the competition heralded no goals and just two assists despite being considered one of the side’s most trusted weapons going forward.

Indeed, the Algerian’s creative numbers don’t make for particularly impressive reading if you’re Emery either. The Gunners boss is keen for his sides to dominate the ball and one of the big strengths last year was the number of crosses Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin (when fit) put in.

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Despite predominantly being an out-and-out winger though, Brahimi averaged a measly 0.2 crosses per game in the league and showed little signs of getting involved in the build-up play with just 30.8 passes per game.

So, whilst a free transfer for Brahimi might seem appealing at first, paying big-money wages and a huge signing-on fee for a 29-year-old who may not even be the type of player Emery wants or needs, would be a complete waste of money for the cash-strapped Gunners.

Article title: Arsenal should avoid moving for Yacine Brahimi on a free transfer

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