Pablo Fornals not what Arsenal need unless Emery sanctions major exits

According to The Sun, Arsenal are planning to sign Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals in the January transfer window.

What’s the story?

As per the aforementioned report, the 22-year-old has a £17.8 million release clause in his contract that the Gunners are prepared to trigger during the upcoming winter window. 

Fornals has been in fine form for the La Liga outfit so far this season and has made himself an indispensable member of the Villarreal first team since his arrival at the Estadio de la Ceramica in 2017.

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Although the twice-capped Spain international is undoubtedly talented, finding a role for him at the Emirates Stadium could be tricky.

Two out, one in

Although Aaron Ramsey is already set to leave the north London club at the end of the season (Sky Sports), Unai Emery will still have Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to call upon, with the duo both favouring Fornals’ preferred attacking-midfield berth. On top of that, the arrival of Fornals could push promising youngster Emile Smith Rowe further down the Gunners pecking order and hamper his development.

If Emery is committed to bringing Fornals to the club, he should also consider allowing Mkhitaryan to leave at the end of the season too.

The Armenian has been solid for Arsenal since his January arrival. However, he has not been anywhere near spectacular enough to justify his £120,000-a-week wage, which makes him the club’s fourth-highest earner according to Spotrac.

If Emery were to sanction the departures of both Ramsey and Mkhitaryan in the summer then the addition of Fornals would make a lot of sense.