The drips of transfer hype have driven us all a bit crazy, as names picked out of a hat have been linked with Arsenal, but one name refuses to go away, and a photo of the target has certainly added a little smoke to the fire.
France international and Barca wideman Ousmane Dembele has been linked with Arsenal for the majority of the summer. The young winger, formerly of Dortmund, has seen game time a bit of a struggle at the Camp Nou since his arrival, and when a player isn’t playing - especially a high profile one such as Dembele - then the rumours of an impending departure begin.
Then, a picture emerged of Dembele in London, with Arsenal players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi. A picture like this, with a player linked to the club his friends in the picture belong to, is a rarity, but does it mean anything?
It definitely means there will be no end to the rumours. Dembele is a former team mate of Aubameyang’s, and Mkhitaryan was once at the same club, although at a different time. The youngster could have been visiting Auba, and just happened to meet up with Guendouzi and Lacazette, but it makes things a little more believable at least.
Dembele is one of the hottest talents in football. His excellent form for Rennes in Ligue Un prompted Dortmund to snap him up, and his electric performances out wide then meant Barca snapped him up. He made only 17 appearances last season though, and was often criticised for his lack of consistency and end product in La Liga.
For a kid of this age to have such a meteoric rise, a dip in form was inevitable. What Dembele needs right now is games, and lots of them. There has been talk of a loan move to Arsenal, which would suit both parties. Barca could get a more experienced player, and Arsenal could have another dangerous player in their ranks. His transfer fee would be astronomical too, which would put off any potential suitors.
It helps when a player has connections at a club, and if Arsenal entered negotiations with Barca and the player, it means he could be swayed into signing. Until then though, the picture is just that - a picture.
The season approaches quickly and we have other matters to attend to - namely tying up Ramsey to a deal.