Monday, October 2, 2023

Southampton Midfielder Is Open To Joining Arsenal: Should Arteta Snap Him Up?

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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 interview with Give Me Sport, journalist Ryan Taylor stated that Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia is open to joining Arsenal during this summer transfer window. Taylor said,

“I know they’ve been discussing personal terms with his agent and Lavia, who would be 100% open to joining Arsenal and it does look like there’s concrete interest, but at this moment in time, the price tag will have to drop.

“I think the issue Southampton have is that their valuation has been clouded by the fact Chelsea offered £50 million last August and City have that £40 million buyback that becomes active in 2024.”

Lavia’s Impressive Form In English Football Last Season

Lavia experienced a solid campaign at St. Mary’s Stadium recently but failed to help the Saints avoid being relegated from the Premier League. The 19-year-old registered one goal and one assist in 35 matches for Southampton last season in all competitions.

The Belgian midfielder did well to average 2.1 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.8 clearances, 0.6 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has even been accurate when distributing possession from midfield after completing 86.4% of his attempted passes in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

Romeo Lavia
Belgium’s Romeo Lavia pictured during a training session of the U21 youth team of the Belgian national soccer team Red Devils, Friday 09 June 2023 in Tubize. The Belgian U21 team is preparing for the 2023 European championships in Georgia and Romania from June 21st to July 8th. BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY (Photo by BRUNO FAHY / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Snap Lavia Up?

Lavia can get stuck in with some crunching tackles to make life difficult for the opposition at the centre of the park. He can make a few timely interceptions for his side and usually clears the danger when the opposition are on the front foot.

The Belgian midfield ace can also create some decent chances for his teammates in the opponent’s half and is a decent dribbler with the ball as well. He has mostly featured as a defensive midfielder but can also function as a centre-back if required.

Someone with Lavia’s skillset could be a shrewd acquisition for the Gunners in this off-season. We can expect him to bring more bite and steel to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta‘s midfield. Lavia might even help the North London club challenge for some major honours over the next few years.

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