Thursday, December 1, 2022

Arsenal Face Manchester United Competition To Sign Argentine Starlet: Should Arteta Make Late Push?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, as cited by The Sun, Man United have joined Arsenal in pursuit of Thiago Almada. The Velez Sarsfield youngster has raised a lot of eyebrows, with the Red Devils being the latest club to express interest. The two Premier League giants could now potentially indulge in a transfer battle for Almada, who reportedly has a release clause of £22 million.

Thiago Almada’s rise to prominence

A product of the Velez youth academy, Almada has been a part of the senior side since the summer of 2018. He impressed the onlookers in his debut campaign in professional football, having been involved in five goals in 16 league matches. His performance earned him a more prominent role in Velez’s first-team this season.

In fact, Almada has been involved in all but one game for the Argentine outfit so far. He has scored four goals in 22 appearances while registering one assist. The 19-year-old’s contributions in the final third have helped Velez compete with Racing Club and Argentinos Jrs, for a third-place finish in the league.

What can he offer to the table?

An attacking midfielder by trade, Almada is known for his dynamism on the pitch that will surely benefit Mikel Arteta, especially following the pending return of Dani Ceballos to Real Madrid. The Argentine is also known for his ability to formulate scoring opportunities in the final third.

Man United have joined Arsenal in pursuit of Thiago Almada - A good option for the Gunners?
Paraguay’s Marcelo Rolon (L) vies for the ball with Argentina’s Thiago Almada (R) during their South American U-20 football match at La Granja stadium in Curico, Chile, on January 20, 2019. (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES / AFP / Getty Images)

The youngster is blessed with the pace that allows him to relentlessly march forward, even from deeper areas of the pitch. It makes him a scourge for the defenders on the counter. Another key asset in Almada’s game is his remarkable positioning sense as he often looks to make runs in behind the backline, thus making him a well-rounded playmaker.

Man United have joined Arsenal in pursuit of Thiago Almada: Should Arteta make a push?

There is no doubt that Almada is one of the hottest prospects in Argentine football right now. He has already gained experience of professional football for two years and is pushing for a call-up to the national team. Therefore, the youngster might be a viable target for any Premier League outfit.

For Arsenal, Almada will likely be considered as a cost-effective option in their bid to replace Ceballos. And it makes sense too as the Gunners are among the worst affected Premier League clubs in this financial crisis inflicted by the Coronavirus.

At the same time, however, £22 million is still a significant amount of money for any player who is yet to prove himself in European football. Therefore, the ideal option for Arteta will be to set his sights on well-established individuals, who can also be available for a cut-price. Mario Gotze, for one, is set to be available for free this summer and he could be an ideal option for the Gunners.

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