The return of international football means a break in the Premier League schedule, and with just two months of the season remaining, clubs are more than likely taking this opportunity to plan ahead for the summer transfer window.
It’s no secret that signing a new striker is a priority for Arsenal as they look to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who departed in January as well as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah who are set to leave at the end of this campaign on free transfers.
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen is one of the players being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates, yet it’s been reported that it could take upwards of £80million to land the Nigerian international. That’s a sizeable sum and one Arsenal may deem not worth paying, especially given the other options they could pursue.
One player in particular who has excelled this season despite largely drifting under the radar is Rennes forward Martin Terrier. He may be just 24, but Terrier has already played for some of France’s biggest clubs including Lille and Lyon, however he didn’t really excel with either. That’s a point captured by the fact that he’s still yet to have been called up to the French national team, despite being a regular at U21 level.
In the summer of 2020, he joined Rennes from Lyon for just over £10million. Although it looked like a fair fee for both clubs at the time, fast forward to now and Rennes will undoubtedly feel like they got the better deal.
In Terrier’s first full campaign with the Red and Blacks, he scored nine league goals while registering a further seven assists. This season, he’s scored nearly double that with 16, despite there still being a quarter of the campaign to go.
An added impressive feature of that return is that only one of those goals came from the penalty spot. To put that in perspective, his 15 non-penalty goals is the same number Mohamed Salah has scored this season and one more than Kylian Mbappe – despite playing fewer league minutes than both so far.
Away from the goals, Arsenal should be as equally impressed by the 24-year-old’s all-round profile. The six-foot striker is a strong but also technically proficient attacker. This brings a certain versatility to his game and he is comfortable playing at centre-forward, as a second-striker, as an attacking midfielder and on the wing. It’s in the latter on the left in which he has thrived most this season.
This means Mikel Arteta could use him in a number of different ways, depending on how he’d want to set up his Arsenal team. Yet it’s not just what he can bring with the ball, but also his impact without it that stands out. He is a key pressing trigger for Rennes and can often lead moves that force valuable turnovers in profitable areas deep inside the opposition’s half.
Terrier’s ability to press proficiently without the ball while bringing a ruthless scoring edge with it makes him an ideal forward for Arteta’s Arsenal. He might not be a Hollywood name in comparison to some of the other players linked with the Gunners, yet the above highlights how he could prove to be a shrewd accusation should they opt to make a move.