Gunners boss eyes three of the game’s brightest prospects.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks set to raid the transfer market for youth once again this January as he lines up bids for three of the game’s brightest prospects, CaughtOffside can reveal.
The Gunners have been known for their tendency to bring in relatively unknown young players in recent times, with the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 limiting them somewhat in terms of finances.
However, in recent times they have turned away from that policy slightly, bringing in experienced and established big-names such as Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski in the last two summers, as well as Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta before that.
Wenger still remains keen on nurturing young talent though, and has seen his patience in the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere pay off this season as the midfield pair have matured into one of the finest pairings in the Premier League, while exciting teenage winger Serge Gnabry has also worked his way into the starting lineup on occasion.
With January approaching, Arsenal are being linked with a host of big names, though it may be that Wenger will look to bolster his squad with young players when the transfer window re-opens, with three players said to be high on his list of priorities.
The players are Patrick Olsen of Inter Milan, Tonny Vilhena of Feyenoord, and Jorginho of Hellas Verona, who would likely cost a combined fee of £26m.
Olsen, 19, is a Danish Under-21 international, and looks a promising midfielder. The Inter starlet has not yet featured for the club’s first team, but has fallen onto Wenger’s radar before as Arsenal tried to bring him in during the summer.
Inter rate him highly though, and would likely command a fee of around £7m for his services. Although that may seem steep for one so inexperienced, Arsenal have been known to fork out relatively large sums for top young talent before, such as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Vilhena, 18, is a Dutch Under-21 midfielder and has become a regular for Feyenoord this season, scoring four goals for the team. He is widely regarded as one of the best young players in Europe at the moment and would also set the Gunners back a fair amount with an asking price in the region of £8m.
And finally, Jorginho is one of the more recognisable names on the list, with the 21-year-old attracting a great deal of attention from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and AC Milan with his displays for Verona in Serie A this season. The Brazilian-born Italy Under-21 international has scored five goals in ten appearances and looks a promising attacker whose skillful style of play would certainly suit Arsenal’s style.
Jorginho would likely cost £11m, though if other clubs step up their interest the fee could rise. Arsenal, however, will hope to get in early to win the race for this in-demand starlet.
Vilhena and Olsen would likely go out on loan again quickly as Wenger will not include them in his first-team immediately, though it is understood that the Frenchman hopes to include Jorginho as part of his plans straight away this season, with the versatile player able to fill a number of attacking midfield roles.