Why Arsenal Should Not Take Dembélé Deal Offered by Barcelona
Arsenal has not had a proper out-and-out winger for years, with the closest players being Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. They need someone with pace, someone who can dribble at defenders and take them on one on one and then whip in a cross. Recently, Arsenal has been looking at Leon Bailey of Bayer Leverkusen and Ousmane Dembélé of FC Barcelona. Most Gunners seem to favour Dembélé, the more glamorous signing, although both would be good signings.
After the signing of Malcom, who plays in the same position as Dembélé, restricting his already limited game time, Dembélé is reportedly looking for a new club. Arsenal has been in talks with Barcelona about acquiring Dembélé after his disappointing debut season with the Catalan giants. FC Barcelona has made an offer to Arsenal regarding Dembélé. Barcelona proposed a swap deal for Aaron Ramsey, possibly plus cash. Arsenal should not take this deal.
Arsène Wenger retired last season after 22 years at Arsenal. A new manager was appointed in the form of Unai Emery. Longtime Arsenal players like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla left the club during the summer, along with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud in January. Arsenal is quite different from last season with old players leaving, new players such as Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi, joining and a new manager being appointed.
The club is taking some power away from the manager regarding club policies and players and balancing it amongst the "brain trust" of Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat, and Raul Sanllehi. The club is in a state of flux.
During a time of great change such as this, Arsenal needs to keep as many things the same as possible. Swapping Aaron Ramsey, a proven player and the shining light in Arsenal's past few dark seasons, for a player like Ousmane Dembélé, an unproven youngster with attitude problems is a huge mistake. Ramsey is a solid player with solid production and strong leadership skills. He has even been tipped to be the captain this coming season.
Additionally, the primary need for a winger is as a plan B, much like Giroud and his aerial threat was. What is the point in bringing in a plan B player/super sub if plan A takes such a big hit? Plus, if Aaron Ramsey were to leave, who would take his place? Granted, there are some talented youngsters such as Emile Smith Rowe, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mattéo Guendouzi pushing for a starting spot. But none of them are ready to be starters and none can match the production of Aaron Ramsey.
If Aaron Ramsey were to leave in a player plus cash deal, the funds needed to secure a replacement player (a box to box midfielder) would also be used up to bring in Dembélé, an unknown variable, leaving a huge hole in the Arsenal squad.
Dembélé is a great player and one that would fit in well at Arsenal. But there are too many downsides to bringing him in at the cost of Aaron Ramsey. Instead, Arsenal should go after Leon Bailey, a young, pacey winger who would cost only about €40 million to buy outright. His move could be funded by players sales and would not break the bank. Why not get the winger we need, while keeping Aaron Ramsey?