By Chris Wright
After a stellar, Player of the Year-worthy breakthrough season for Lyon in 2012/13 it looks for all the world like prodigiously talented Clement Grenier is moving on this summer, with Arsenal being repeatedly linked with a dabble on the player OL fans refer to as Juninho Pernambucano’s “Little Brother”.
In fact, 2012/13 was more like a breakthrough half-season for Grenier, who fitted and started in the early rounds of the campaign before really hitting his groove in the second half of the season, with a couple of exceptional goals and a smattering of laser-guided incisive through-balls (seven goals and six assists to be precise) peppering a flurry of match-winning performances in his role as chief playmaker behind battering ram striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
News has just broken today that Grenier has rejected another contract extension from Lyon (he only had one year left on his current deal), leading many to believe that the 22-year-old is poised to skidaddle at some point in the not-so-distant future, with Arsene Wenger said to be particularly sweet on the young, emergent Gallic talent – who’d have thunk it, eh?
There are even suggestions that a fee of just €8million may be enough to prise Grenier away from the Stade Gerland. If that ain’t right up Wenger’s thrifty street then we don’t know what is!
As for the Juninho comparisons, they seem to stem from Grenier’s propensity for tonking the odd wiffleball long-rangers, with his stunning 40-yard exocet freekick against Nice at the tail end of May almost a carbon copy of the traction engine-footed Brazilian’s stock-in-trade set piece mastery.
Here’s a little look at the chap in action, doing what he does best: sashaying around and making things happen …
Very Nasri-esque if you ask us, though we’re not entirely sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing from an Arsenal perpective!
More in the series…