Thursday, September 29, 2022

Arsenal To Rival AC Milan In Pursuit Of Portuguese Whizkid: One For The Future?

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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 Calciomercato, Arsenal are among clubs interested in Nuno Mendes. The Sporting CP youngster has attracted a lot of interest following his performances in the youth competitions last season. Milan, in particular, are keeping a close eye on the young left-back, though the Serie A giants are set to face stiff competition from Premier League sides like Arsenal, Wolves and Manchester United.

What Can Nuno Mendes Offer To The Table?

Following his breakthrough in the youth competitions, Mendes, it seems, has already been incorporated into Sporting’s first-team plans this season, notably making four appearances in all competitions.

The 18-year-old has continued to impress the onlookers with his ability to march forward, providing offensive support. His quick feet, positional awareness and sheer pace make him an asset in the final third.

As a matter of fact, Mendes has been employed as a left-winger by Sporting CP, which is fascinating and falls in line with his characteristics. The youngster does indeed have the attacking quality to thrive in the opposition half, with the player notably scoring his first professional goal in the recent win over Portimonense.

Another key aspect of Mendes’ game is his athleticism, with the player also boasting a remarkable mentality and fighting spirit.

Arsenal are among clubs interested in Nuno Mendes - One for the future?
I Liga: Sporting vs Tondela Lisbon, 06/18/2020 – Sporting Clube de Portugal received the CD this evening at Estdio Jos Alvalade XXI, in Lisbon. Tondela in the game of the 27th round of the First Liga NOS, season 2019/2020. Nuno Mendes PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY xGerardoxSantosx

Do Arsenal Need Nuno Mendes?

Mendes is, no doubt, the next up and coming star in Portuguese football. However, a move to Arsenal might not be the best option in his career at the moment for a number of reasons.

The Gunners are already quite strong on the left flank, boasting the services of players like Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. All of them are versatile enough to not only play as a left-back but as an attacker as well.

While Sead Kolasinac is one player facing an uncertain future under Mikel Arteta, it seems unlikely that Mendes will be able to survive under such competition. Not to mention, the 18-year-old will also have to get used to the high-paced nature of the Premier League.

It doesn’t bode well for a player of his age, and perhaps a more logical move for Mendes, right now, would be to stay put at Sporting CP. The Portuguese giants have a fantastic record of providing platforms to young players, with an added emphasis on youth development.

It will be interesting to see how the left-back performs in the next couple of months, ahead of a potential bidding war in the January transfer window.

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