According to reports, Manchester United and Arsenal are both competing for Real Madrid’s latest sensation Marco Asensio as both the sides seek to add more firepower before starting their season. The Spanish Under-21 international has taken the world by storm with his dazzling displays in the European Championships following a breakthrough season with Real Madrid.
Arsenal have found it difficult to score against tough opponents without Alexis Sanchez on the left wing. While the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette did add more urgency and quality in the final third, the immense work rate that the Chilean brings in has been missing in Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi, in Arsenal’s pre season tour.
And with the growing speculation of Alexis Sanchez leaving Emirates this summer, Wenger has to keep a backup option ready. Though the French boss has time and again reiterated that the Chilean is staying at the club next season, we have come across such situations previously. Arsenal’s latest formation essentially needs two attacking midfielders up front, which neither Oxlade Chamberlain nor Walcott has been able to provide.
Alongside Mesut Ozil, Sanchez has been the best fit in the playmaking role and in case he goes, Asensio looks more than capable of taking up the task. Although not a like for like replacement, the 21-year-old does have the ability to score a good 20 plus goals in a season. His maturity has been well beyond his age, which was evident in his brilliant movements as seen in La Liga last season.
Despite starting behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the pecking order, Asensio managed to score 10 goals and register three assists in all competitions for Los Blancos. And he could start only 14 times in all the 39 appearances he made in Spain last season.
A left-wing by nature, Asensio is immensely versatile across the attacking third. And Zidane has experimented with him in almost every position up front. He has played as a central midfielder, a centre-forward, a right wing and in the right midfield as well.
Asensio’s goal in the Champions League final against Juventus was the final nail in the coffin for the Serie A giants, and it showed his sharp nose for goal. He went on to be named in the team of the tournament after Spain finished runner-up in Under-21 Euro Championships.
The youth product of Spanish side RCD Mallorca, Asensio’s talent was interestingly recognised by tennis maestro Rafael Nadal, who had tipped Real president Florentino Perez about him. Real wasted no time in picking him and was sent on loan to Espanyol. He declared himself there with a whopping four goals and 13 assists in 34 appearances.
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