Arsenal facing Premier League competition for top complete midfielder

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is in the market for a new midfielder this summer and Football Audit understands that he is keeping close tabs on Lens star Cheick Doucoure as an option

Cheick Doucoure is a transfer target for Arsenal, among various other Premier League attracting plenty of interest from Premier League sides this summer.

The Mali international has made 34 appearances for Lens this season, helping his side to a seventh placed finish in the Ligue 1. The 22-year-old scored once and registered four assists for Franck Haise’s team.

And his impressive performances matched by his growing potential has earned him plenty of suitors. Football Audit understands that Doucoure is set to leave Lens this summer for the Premier League. Arsenal, Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Everton have all registered their interest in the midfielder.

Wolves, too, are also believed to be keen with reports circulating that they are set to lose Ruben Neves in the coming months.

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Doucoure is valued at £9million by Transfermarkt, though a bid of almost double that could arrive given how sought after the midfielder has become and the competition to secure his signature.

Doucoure has shone throughout this season, with teammate Seko Fofana even commenting that he is one of the ‘the best’ he has ever shared a football pitch with.

He said: “Cheick knows how to do everything on the pitch. He works in the shadows and, for me, he is very important. He is incredibly complete. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with. He knows how to shoot from distance, how to pass, break the lines, dribble and defend.”

Arsenal are expected to be in the market for a midfielder this summer after they failed to sign Arthur Melo in January. The Brazilian was reportedly keen to leave Juventus in favour of a move to the Emirates Stadium but an agreement couldn’t be reached with the Serie A side. Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans has been heavily linked with a move to North London.

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Mikel Arteta’s side announced earlier this week that Mohamed Elneny had extended his stay with the Gunners. The Egypt international was set to leave this summer when his deal expired, but a run of impressive first team performances earned him a further one-year deal.

Upon agreeing a new deal at the club, Arteta said of Elneny: “Mo is a really important part of the team. He brings endless energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the team and is loved by everyone. He’s an important player for us on and off the pitch, a real role model to our younger players and I’m delighted he’s staying.”

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