Though the international football has come to an end with most players scheduled to return for training to their club, the rumour mill still doesn’t seem to run out of mileage just now as it keeps churning out the last surprising few rumours. The latest such example has been Arsenal’s reported pursuit of long-term Manchester United target Fabinho.
The Brazilian international has been one of the most highly-rated full-backs in the summer transfer market with Arsenal’s rival Manchester United emerging a prime suitor. And given Arsenal’s dire need for a back-up in the right-back’s position where Hector Bellerin pretty much remains the only feasible option for the manager right now, connecting the loose ends was much easier.
Arsenal are expected to let go of their second and third choice right backs Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy this summer, which indicates their need for an immediate option in that role. The Gunners have, quite uncharacteristically, already brought in big names like Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette this summer for only £52 million, and more names are expected.
Their previous poor season was expected to bring a juddering effect in the club’s hackneyed transfer and administrative policies, and it is seen taking effect. Backroom shuffling has also been initiated by the appointment of former Arsenal goalie Jens Lehmann in a coaching role.
New Ligue 1 champions, AS Monaco, would be unwilling to let go one of their better players after already forced to part ways with Bernardo Silva and Germain already leaving the side. However, with other names like Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Thomas Lemar all linked with a move away, Fabinho will have a hard time staying at the club.
Fabinho’s greatest strength would be his versatility across the defensive third as he can easily play as a central midfielder as and when needed, apart from being the natural full-back. And Wenger, who has kept changing his formations between 3-4-2-1 and 4-2-3-1 last season, could make the maximum use of it with someone like Fabinho at his disposal.
Arsenal have found a perfect passer and holder of the ball in Granit Xhaka, who was brilliant in his debut season. Wenger is seeking someone who can cover for his lack of agility with either heavy work rate or intelligent game reading abilities. And Fabinho’s availability pretty much solves it.
Manchester United have stopped showing interest in the player despite the full-back publicly admiring being linked with the Red Devils. Speaking to Brazilian television channel Esporte Interativo, Fabinho said, “Manchester United is a great team and I would think about it… If Mourinho invites me it would be very tempting… But I would have to talk with my agent and Monaco to make the things right.
At 23, he would be a long-term option for any side and despite being more defence-minded, he still has the knack of scoring. Last season, he has scored nine goals, registering three assists in 37 league appearances.
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