Ligue 1 expert questions ‘logic’ of Arsenal interest in ‘wonderkid’ amid Balogun rumours

·3-min read
Arsenal target Elye Wahi runs with the ball Credit: Alamy
Arsenal target Elye Wahi runs with the ball Credit: Alamy

Ligue 1 expert Jonathan Johnson doesn’t think a move to Arsenal would make sense for Montpellier youngster Elye Wahi this summer.

The 20-year-old has contributed 17 goals and five assists in 31 Ligue 1 appearances this season with clubs around Europe taking note of his performances.

There have been reports that Premier League side Arsenal and arch-rivals Tottenham are looking at the striker as a possible addition in the upcoming window.

Folarin Balogun, who has been on loan at Reims from the Gunners, has provided 20 goals and two assists in Ligue 1 this term but it looks like he could be leaving in the summer.

And Johnson has questioned the logic of bringing in the ‘wonderkid’ from Montpellier if Arsenal are looking to offload Balogun in the summer.

Johnson wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Elye Wahi is an interesting player who’s starting to attract a lot of interest after his fine form with Montpellier this season. Still only 20 years of age, the forward has 17 goals and five assists in Ligue 1, and there’s growing interest from clubs across Europe.

“German clubs often keep an eye on Ligue 1, with the success of players like Moussa Diaby and Randal Kolo Muani, and Wahi is the latest coming up on their radars.

“There have also been links with Arsenal, and there was seemingly heavy interest from Tottenham a few months ago, though that’s died down now that the club have fallen out of contention for a Champions League place.

“Wahi is very highly rated and there are clubs in Ligue 1 keeping an eye on him as well to potentially see if they can move him out of Montpellier. He has said on record that he’d be open to staying in France for a bit longer, so that could be one to watch.

“My feeling is that he’s a raw talent and he could perhaps do with going to a club who’d act as a sort of a finishing school for him before moving to a top Premier League club.

“With regards to those links to Arsenal, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re ready to offload Folarin Balogun this summer, so I don’t see the logic in them filling in his position in the squad with someone like Wahi, who needs to keep on playing somewhere where he’ll be first choice.

“There’s no doubting his talent and goal-scoring ability, he’s a real predator who knows how to put the ball in the back of the net and that’s going to be extremely valuable for a number of clubs. But whether he stays at Montpellier or goes elsewhere, he needs to start, and if he goes to Arsenal that would not be guaranteed.”

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