Arsenal have made Thomas Lemar one of their top summer targets, but what makes the Monaco winger such an attractive prospect?
According to Sky sources, Arsenal have had bids rejected for both Lemar and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsene Wenger’s interest in Lacazette has been longstanding, while the move for Lemar comes after the Frenchman played an integral role in Monaco’s Ligue 1 triumph last season.
Here, we chart Lemar’s rise from the island of Guadeloupe to the left wing of Monaco’s midfield…
Thomas Lemar – Factfile
International caps: 5
Having been born in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, Lemar moved to mainland Europe in 2010 to join Caen’s youth setup.
The versatile midfielder rose up the ranks, but seldom featured for Caen in his first season with the senior side, playing just seven games in the 2013/14 campaign which saw Caen earn promotion to Ligue 1 – one N’Golo Kante played every match that season.
Lemar featured more heavily alongside Kante upon the club’s return to top-tier action – where they finished 13th – though it proved to be the final season for both players at Caen.
Monaco were successful with a £3.4m bid for Lemar in the summer of 2015, while Kante moved to Leicester in a £5.6m deal – Premier League glory was to follow just nine months later for the defensive midfielder.
Move to Monaco
Lemar arrived at Monaco on a five-year deal in June 2015, and Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco’s vice-president, was aware of the 19-year-old’s promise.
“Thomas represents the future of French football at his level,” Vasilyev told the club’s website after signing Lemar.
“He’s part of the same generation as Anthony Martial, he’s involved with the French U21s and so he’s a perfect match for our project.”
Lemar enjoyed a decent first season at the principality club, scoring five goals and assisting a further three en route to Monaco’s third-placed finish in 2015/16.
Monaco announced themselves on the European stage once more in 2016/17 – with Lemar among a number of players to capture the imagination of fans and pundits as they reached the Champions League semi-finals.
And while Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao were forming a deadly partnership up front, Lemar himself contributed nine goals and 10 assists as Monaco ended PSG’s four-year dominance in Ligue 1, as they clinched the club’s first title in 17 years in the process.
Lemar made himself known to Premier League fans in late 2016 – while also endearing himself to Arsenal supporters – when scoring the decisive goal in both of Monaco’s 2-1 victories over Tottenham in the group stages.
Having represented France at all levels from U17 to U21, Lemar was called up to the senior side in November 2016 following the withdrawal of Kingsley Coman.
Lemar came on to play the final 12 minutes of France’s 0-0 draw with the Ivory Coast. Substitute appearances then followed against Spain, Paraguay and Sweden.
A first start for Lemar came against England in a friendly at the Stade de France in mid-June. Operating on the left wing, he played alongside Kante, Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele in midfield.
France ran out 3-2 winners thanks to Dembele’s 78th-minute winner. Lemar played the full 90 minutes, coming up against Kieran Trippier and then Kyle Walker – both of whom he could face once more if he heads to Arsenal this summer.
Style of play
Utilised mainly as a winger, Lemar is also capable of playing through the centre. This versatility means he will often roam infield if starting on the left, while his link-up play with Falcao and Mbappe is what helped him claim the most assists of any Ligue 1 player last season.
Lemar also delivered 2.2 key passes per game – the fifth most in Ligue 1 – and 1.6 crosses per match, ranking him ninth among all players.
Adept with both feet, Lemar is comfortable and confident on the ball, while his off-ball runs are intelligent and seek to advance Monaco’s attacks.
What they say…
Former team-mate at Caen, Alaeddine Yahia: “His left foot is amazing. It’s like a hand – he puts the ball where he wants. Let’s not forget he’s playing for a big club already in Monaco, but I think he’ll go a long way.”
Former team-mate Dennis Appiah: “He can be as good as he wants. He just needs to be consistent, to keep on scoring and setting up goals, to keep moving in the right direction.”
Where will he fit in?
If Arsene Wenger continues to operate with a 3-4-3 formation, Lemar will look to displace one of Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil. That is, of course, if the duo remain at the Emirates.
A switch the 4-2-3-1 would likely see Lemar out on the left, though he would be capable of playing anywhere across that attacking three behind the striker.
Any move for Lemar would also put the pressure on Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi, while it is believed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is edging towards a move to Liverpool.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
Our fantastic Euro Soccer accumulator offer gives you the chance to earn a bonus of up to 100% on accumulators on the top domestic leagues in Europe along with the group and knockout stages of the Champions League.
This offer applies to returns on pre-match accumulators of 3 or more selections on Full Time Result or Result/Both Teams To Score markets for the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, German Bundesliga 1 or UEFA Champions League.
The maximum bonus that you can receive is €100,000 or currency equivalent. The bonus will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, the bonus will be calculated based .on the remaining active stake. If a qualifying bet is edited .using our Edit Bet feature. The bonus will be calculated based on the new stake. Where a bet has been edited to include or amend a selection for an event that is In-Play, the bonus will no longer apply. Double Chance bets or combination bets with bonuses. Such as Lucky 15’s or Lucky .31’s do not apply for this offer.
If your bet is successful, we will add the following bonuses to your returns:
Bet Type Bonus
14-folds and upwards 100% bonus
Terms and Conditions
Applies to straight pre-match accumulator bets on the Full Time Result or Result/Both Teams To Score markets for UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, German Bundesliga .1 or Australian A-League matches. Maximum bonus €100,000 or currency equivalent. Soccer Accumulator Bonus does not apply to Double Chance bets or combination. bets with bonuses such as Lucky 15’s, Lucky 31’s etc.
If any selections are postponed/void then the bonus will still apply, but the percentage bonus added will reflect the actual number of winning selections. For example, an 8-fold accumulator with 7. winners and 1 postponed match will receive a 30% .bonus to returns.
The bonus part of your returns will be added to your account within 24 hours of your final selection having played.
This bonus will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, the bonus will be calculated based on the remaining active stake.
If a qualifying bet is edited using our Edit Bet feature, the bonus will be calculated based on the new stake. Where a bet has been edited to include or amend a selection for an event that is In-Play, the bonus will no longer apply.
Where any term of the offer or promotion is breached or there is any evidence of a series of bets placed by a customer or group of customers, which due to a deposit bonus, enhanced payments, free bets, risk free bets or any other promotional offer results in guaranteed customer profits irrespective of the outcome, whether individually or as part of a group, bet365 reserves the right to reclaim the bonus element of such offers and in their absolute discretion either settle bets at the correct odds, void the free and risk free. bets or void any bet funded by the deposit bonus.
In addition bet365 .reserve the right to levy an administration charge on the customer up to the value of the deposit bonus, free bet, risk free bet or additional payment to cover administrative costs. We further reserve the right to ask any customer to provide sufficient documentation for us to be satisfied in our absolute discretion as to the customer’s identity prior to us crediting any bonus, free bet, risk free bet or offer to their account.
All bet365 offers are intended for recreational players and bet365 may in its sole discretion limit the eligibility of customers to participate in all or part of any promotion.