Thursday, June 1, 2023

Arsenal Have Set Their Sights On This La Liga Full-Back: One For The Future?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Gazzetta dello Sport mentioned that Arsenal have set their sights on Real Valladolid full-back Ivan Fresneda. It has been claimed that the Gunners are eyeing a move to secure the services of the Spanish youngster in the summer.

Fresneda’s Impressive Rise At Estadio José Zorrilla

The 18-year-old is having a solid campaign in Spanish football after he managed to produce some eye-catching displays on the right side of Valladolid’s backline. Fresneda has participated in 15 senior matches for the Spanish outfit this season but is still waiting to score or assist his first goal for the club across all competitions.

The Madrid-born talent has caught the eye with his performances on the right flank as he is averaging 2.5 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 2.4 clearances, 0.8 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game in La Liga. He has even been excellent when interchanging possession with his teammates based on his pass completion rate of 82% in league football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Estadio José Zorrilla is set to run out in the summer of 2025. Thus, it would take a big fee for Arsenal to land him at the end of this campaign.

Ivan Fresneda
PAMPLONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 30: Ivan Fresneda of Real Valladolid in action during the LaLiga Santander match between CA Osasuna and Real Valladolid CF at El Sadar Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Arsenal Have Set Their Sights On Fresneda: Is He A Prospect For The Future?

Fresneda doesn’t shy away from making a tackle and can sense the danger well to earn possession back for his team on the defensive end of the pitch. He usually clears his lines when required and can also create some inviting plays for his teammates in the opposition half. The Spanish starlet is a decent dribbler with the ball as well but needs to work on improving his productivity going forward.

At the moment, Fresneda is amongst the best young full-backs in La Liga. Hence, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would do well to lure him to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

Fresneda is already good enough to serve as a sporadic member of Arteta’s match-day squad. If the Gunners are willing to be patient with his progress, he could prove himself to be a future star for them in the English capital.

Fresneda is definitely a prospect to watch out for in the future and would be an excellent signing for the North London club to pull off later this year.

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