In Focus: Arsenal should be happy to let Everton sign Jean Michael Seri

According to Sky Sports, Everton are one of a number of Premier League clubs interested in signing Nice midfielder and reported Arsenal target Jean Michael Seri, who is rated at £22.5m according to Transfermarkt, either during the January transfer window or in the summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Gunners have long been linked with a move for the impressive 26-year-old, with The Sun reporting back in November that the Ivory Coast international is still a target for Arsene Wenger.

However, Sky Sports says they have been joined in the race to sign the midfielder by top flight rivals Everton, although the player’s preference is to join a Premier League club competing in the Champions League.

How has Seri done this season?

He hasn’t been quite as impressive as he was last season with performances that saw him come close to joining Barcelona during the summer, but he has still done well.

The 26-year-old has scored one goal and provided a further five assists in 21 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit, compared to seven goals and nine assists in 39 outings in total last term.

To be fair to the Ivorian, he has largely been playing in a deeper role in midfield during the current campaign than he did in the previous one.

According to WhoScored.com, Seri has still made 35 key passes in 16 appearances in the French top flight and the Europa League this season – he made 80 in 38 matches in both competitions last term – while he has an impressive passing accuracy of 91.1% across both competitions.

Would Arsenal still want him?

It’s difficult to say.

If he did join the Gunners he would probably play a similar role to Aaron Ramsey or perhaps even Granit Xhaka, but the north London outfit may feel that they need a player that will sit deep and protect the backline rather than another individual who seems to be a little more effective offensively than he is defensively.

If he could be brought in for a reasonable fee then he could still be an option, but Arsenal are surely likely to look elsewhere if Wenger does decide that he needs to find an alternative to the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin in the middle of the park.