Get the CaughtOffside iPad app. Download the #1 Free Sports App from the App Store.
All of the latest footie news and much, much more.
Emirates Stadium boss admits he is a huge admirer of a young striker who could be perfect fit for North London club.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that he might bid for AC Milan sensation Stephan El Shaarawy in the January transfer window.
When quizzed about El Shaarawy’s sparkling form earlier this week, Wenger couldn’t help but confess his admiration for the 20-year-old, admitting he is a classic Arsenal player.
‘El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player. His philosophy fits perfectly with mine,’ Wenger told Eurosport.
The Frenchman was then quizzed as to whether El Shaarawy may well be a possible transfer target, given the club’s desire to add to their forward options in the new year, and Wenger did little to suggest it was off the agenda.
‘You never know,’ he added. ‘I just say I love the way he plays.’
This is interesting.
Arsene Wenger usually avoids publicly naming any possible target and has a tendency to quash talk when approached directly about his thoughts on an individual that may be of interest. So for the Frenchman to happily chime in with his glowing assessment of the AC Milan forward is perhaps telling.
Of the pair of targets listed by this source it seems clear that the most eye-catching is that of young Italian forward Stephan El Shaarawy, a player Arsene Wenger will know well from the two encounters between Arsenal and AC Milan in Champions League action last term.
The 20 year old attacker has matured a great deal over the past nine months and has greatly improved since moving into a more orthodox striking role than in his previous floating wide position where he was frequently ineffective and wasteful.
The departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic left Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri will a big void to fill and having impressed in pre-season in the role El Shaarawy has taken the mantle as the club’s chief striker with aplomb this term.
El Shaarawy has netted 15 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions this season and has attracted a great deal of interest in the process. His form led to a full national team call-up and has since scored against France.
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has been on something of a cost cutting drive, selling the aforementioned Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to PSG. However the former Italian PM has stated publicly that he wouldn’t choose to sell the club’s young talent, claiming that sales would be in relation to the long term future of the club and clearly losing a player of El Shaarawy’s potential wouldn’t go down well with the club’s supporters.
Arsene Wenger could well do with a player of El Shaarawy’s abilities and clearly the Italian would fit with his youthful transfer ethos, though clearly any successful offer for the AC Milan man would have to involve the North London side smashing their record transfer fee.
Tickets still available for top football matches – Reading v Arsenal tickets