Matias Vina of Nacional and Facundo Pellistri vie for the ball during the Uruguayan Clausura tournament final football match between Penarol and Nacional, at Centenario stadium in Montevideo, on December 11, 2019. (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP) (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Calciomercato, as cited by Express, Arsenal are interested in the services of Facundo Pellistri. The Penarol youngster is being monitored by Mikel Arteta, who is hoping to replicate a Gabriel Martinelli sort of deal this summer. However, Arsenal could face stiff competition from several clubs including Newcastle United and Manchester City in their pursuit of Pellistri, who reportedly has a release clause of £13 million.

Who is Facundo Pellistri?

A product of the Penarol youth academy, Pellistri has been making a lot of waves in Uruguay”s youth competitions. His impressive performances in the lower division saw him earn a promotion to Penarol’s senior side at the start of last year. And since then, the 18-year-old has notched up 25 competitive appearances for the team.

During the 2019 season, Pellistri made 15 appearances in the Uruguayan Primera Division, taking part in three goals. His creativity in the final third helped Penarol finish the season in the second position. But more importantly, it boosted the player’s reputation across the globe, although the winger is yet to win a single cap for his country.

What can he bring to the table?

A right-winger by trade, Pellistri has impressed the onlookers with his dynamic presence in attack. Standing at just 1.74m, the youngster’s small frame allows him to retain his balance even under tight pressure, thus enabling him to nestle through tight spaces. His ability to take on defenders is simply impeccable.

Arsenal are interested in the services of Facundo Pellistri - A star in the making?
Uruguay’s Penarol midfielder Facundo Pellistri (L) and Bolivia’s Jorge Wilstermann midfielder Cristian Chavez vie for the ball during their Copa Libertadores football match at Campeon del Siglo stadium, in Montevideo, on March 11, 2020. (Photo by DANTE FERNANDEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Also, Pellistri is a tactically versatile winger who can play on both flanks. He also tends to move into a more central area of the pitch, making him quite similar to ex-Barcelona sensation Malcom.

Is Pellistri the next Martinelli for Arsenal?

Pellistri has shown a lot of potential and certainly has the quality to prove himself in top-flight European football. His direct style of play could ideally fit in under Arteta’s attacking scheme, which is combined with the player’s versatility. Hence, from a tactical perspective, Pellistri is indeed a viable target for Arsenal.

The winger’s £13 million release clause is reasonable as well despite the club’s ongoing financial crisis. Therefore, Arteta could undoubtedly take a gamble on Pellistri this summer.

Whether or not the Penarol attacker could end up replicating the success of Martinelli is hard to tell, however, They are different type of players, with the Arsenal star’s style of play much more centred on scoring goals and hovering in and around the penalty box. But given the way the Gunners have embraced the idea of giving young footballers the opportunity to perform in recent years, Emirates should indeed be an ideal destination for Pellistri.

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.