COMMENT By Matt Farr
Premier League giants Manchester City travelled to AS Monaco for the second leg of their Champions League knockout round clash on Wednesday night.
But it is claimed that Arsenal were also closely monitoring the events in France, with Get French Football news reporting on their Twitter account that scout Gilles Grimandi was in attendance.
Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi is at the Stade Louis II for AS Monaco vs Manchester City tonight.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 15, 2017
Here, Football Insider reveals the four potential Monaco stars that Arsenal and Grimandi might have been keeping an eye on.
After an unconvincing season from Nacho Monreal, Arsenal could be set to dip into the summer transfer market in pursuit of a new left-back.
Mendy, 22, is fast becoming one of the Europe’s brightest young defensive talents, and could be a suitable candidate to replace Monreal in the Arsenal side.
The France youth international is the undisputed first-choice at Stade Louis II, but most importantly, he has the talent to show it.
Mendy is a competent attacking full-back, contributing nine assists from his 28 appearances in all competitions, and ticks all the necessary criteria for Arsenal.
Undoubtedly the main focus of attention will be forward Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old has burst onto the European scene this season with unprecedented success, netting 16 goals and 10 assists from 30 appearances.
Adept at playing as a winger or as a centre-forward, Mbappe could be a fantastic addition to Arsenal’s attacking roster, and to complement Alexis Sanchez.
But with Sanchez looking likely to depart, despite his age, Mbappe could also be capable of stepping up in his absence.
Monaco will want to keep him at all costs, but money talks – and Arsenal have it.
A major area of concern for Arsenal this season has been the central midfield. Big-money summer signing Granit Xhaka has yet to live up to expectation, while Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey have both been poor.
Therefore, Arsenal are expected to freshen up their options with one or two new recruits, and Bakayoko could be one of them.
The 22-year-old defensive-midfield has performed superbly in his role as a shield to the back four this season, and is another of Europe’s brightest young talents.
His impressive displays have also seen his value sky-rocket, joining Monaco for just £4million back in 2014, where he could now fetch a reported fee of as much as £40million.
Another potential candidate to fill the Sanchez void in attack is 21-year-old attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar.
The left-wing is arguably the weakest area of Arsenal’s current side, with Alex Iwobi still with much to learn before he can be a first-team regular.
But Lemar has shown both creativity in abundance and an eye for goal in France this season, scoring 11 goals and supplying nine assists from 40 appearances.
He has caused opponents across France and in Europe this season a host of problems with his speed and movement, and Arsenal must try to add him to their ranks before one of their rivals.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are targeting this 19-year-old midfielder lighting up the German league, according to the player’s agent.