clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Faouzi Ghoulam drawing wider interest as Arsenal and Manchester City eye a transfer

It's looking like Napoli will have to fight to keep Faouzi Ghoulam, with yet another big club showing an interest in the left back.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

One of Napoli's best and most consistent players over the last year and a half has been Faouzi Ghoulam. The Algerian left back has been a rock at left back, putting in one stellar shift after another to lock down his side of the pitch and support the attack with a high degree of skill.

That kind of quality draws attention, though, and now Napoli are facing a fight to keep him. English Premier League title holders Chelsea already made a pass at him and were rebuffed, but they're not alone in their pursuit of Ghoulam -- both Arsenal and Manchester City have apparently joined the fray.

Arsenal in particular seem like a troubling team to be connected to -- they've long loved French-speaking players under Arsene Wenger's watchful eye, and as an Algerian born and raised in France, Ghoulam is likely more comfortable with French than any other language. More practically speaking, however, they're also rather markedly in need of a quality left back, with Kieran Gibbs streaky and oft-injured, and Nacho Monreal often failing to live up to expectations.

Manchester City would find him very useful as well, with Aleksandar Kolarov widely expected to leave the club this summer and Gaël Clichy seeming to take a bit of a step back quality-wise last season. Real Madrid are even supposedly still interested, though that fit still doesn't make a ton of sense as Ghoulam likely would not want to be a backup to a near-every-match player like Marcelo.

Both City and Arsenal can easily afford Ghoulam, who Napoli tried to declare as "untouchable" after rejecting the €15 million bid from Chelsea. With Ivan Strinic in the side and a long list of transfer needs, though, it shouldn't be shocking if Napoli do give up Ghoulam for a sufficiently improved bid. Hopefully if Ghoulam does move on, he only continues to improve, because he could become a truly great player with his potential.