Atlético Madrid are apparently shopping their (still young) winger Thomas Lemar, who, in the words of Diego Simeone, has failed to live up expectations since arriving 18 months ago.
According to the Evening Standard, Atléti may in fact be desperate enough that they’d be willing to do a loan-to-buy arrangement, with a £5m up-front fee and a £50m rider (unclear if obligatory or not).
Chelsea, who join the like of Spurs and Arsenal in this regard, certainly could do worse in our search for attacking reinforcements! Left-footed Lemar isn’t necessarily an out-and-out winger like Wilfried Zaha or Jadon Sancho, but, like Mason Mount, he’s versatile enough to play there if needed.
Chelsea have been offered £50m Lemar as a cheaper alternative to Zaha.— Standard Sport (@standardsport) January 9, 2020
Tottenham are also monitoring the situation but it is thought Arsenal are not planning to revive their interest.
Lemar, who’s still just 24, was a key part of AS Monaco’s dazzling, surprising, inspiring 2016-17 season, which saw the team guillotine PSG for the French title and become everyone’s favorite second team in the Champions League. Unlike some of his teammates (including Chelsea-bound Tiémoué Bakayoko), he stayed for another season, rejecting plenty of big-money interest from England and elsewhere. And that decision eventually paid off with a €60m move to Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2018.
Unfortunately for Lemar, things haven’t really worked out all that well for him in the Spanish capital. He’s failed to truly establish himself as an automatic starter in the team, and it’s only been getting worse. This season, he’s started just 10 of Atléti’s 25 games in all competitions and has played less than a 1000 minutes in total so far. He has just 4 goals in 64 appearances for club all told, though outside of that one season, he’s not really been known for goalscoring. Having had to deal with a few minor injuries along the way hasn’t helped either. In fact, he got hurt again just before the winter break and is still recovering from that hamstring injury.
With a long-term contract and high expectations weighing him down at the
Vicente Calderón Wanda Metropolitano, perhaps a change of scenery would do him good.
Color me intrigued.