Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League tie against Molde on Thursday night, Mikel Arteta was questioned about the speculation linking the Gunners with a move for talented Norwegian ace Sander Berge.
Norwegian outlet VG claimed on Monday that Arsenal retained an interest in the ace, having missed out when Sheffield United signed Berge for a club-record fee of £22m in January, as per the Telegraph.
VG suggested that the 22-year-old’s bright displays this season make it just a matter of time before a big club swoop in for his services, a prospect that would be more likely if the Blades were relegated.
As Arteta was approached on the matter today, the journalist noted that Berge actually worked with Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg during his time at Genk.
Arteta believes this is ‘probably why’ the rumour originated, reiterating that Berge is a player that Albert ‘likes’ but insisting that Arsenal ‘haven’t shown an interest’ in the all-around midfielder.
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Here's what Mikel Arteta had to say on reports linking Arsenal with an interest in Sheffield United ace Sander Berge… pic.twitter.com/FhILSZ1PkD
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Here’s what Arteta had to say on the matter:
“That’s probably why, Albert knows him really well, he’s a player that he likes but we haven’t shown any interest in the player, he’s a Sheffield United player and we haven’t done anything at all.”
Berge is flourishing in a box-to-box sort of role for the Blades this season, having seen most of his action when he joined last term as a defensive midfielder at the base of Sheffield’s organised system.
The Norway international has made 23 appearances in the Premier League so far, with the ace showing his quality with solid displays against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea so far this term.
Berge’s career is obviously on the up so it’s not surprising to see that he’s been linked with Arsenal, but the potential of him partnering Thomas Partey has been dashed by Arteta’s comments.