Arsenal are clearly in the market for attacking reinforcements this month as they look to bolster Mikel Arteta’s playing squad with enough strength in depth to maintain a title challenge in the second half of the season.
Several names have been mooted, the most frequent of which is Shakhtar Donetsk sensation Mykhalo Mudryk, who the BBC claim the Gunners are in talks to sign.
Now, the north Londoners have been linked with a move for PAOK Thessaloniki sensation Giannis Konstantelias and at just £10m, he could be a viable and bargain alternative to Mudryk.
The Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella reported Arsenal’s interest in him recently, claiming they are set to send scouts to watch him in the coming weeks but face tough competition from Manchester City and other Premier League rivals.
A one-time FC Barcelona trialist, the Greek dynamo is capable of playing anywhere across the frontline and in midfield, just like Mudryk. This campaign, he’s managed to provide four assists across 14 appearances, as per Transfermarkt.
Based on his Sofascore heat map, Konstantelias seems an ideal prototype to the £80m star as the 19-year-old gem features frequently on the left flank, where he has also averaged 1.1 shots and 1.4 key passes per game in the Greek Super League – compared to Mudryk‘s 1.5 shots and 0.8 key passes per outing in the Champions League.
The PAOK wonderkid, who has earned lofty comparisons to Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Lionel Messi, has also been described as a “phenomenon” by Alexandros Malakasiotis, head of Agia Pareskevi’s academy (via GOAL).
Also dubbed as “a Messi clone” by journalist Stavros Kolkas, it could well be very much worth the risk if sporting director Edu Gaspar were to take a bargain punt on Konstantelias at just £10m this month.
It’s a fraction of the price that KSE would need to splash out on for Mudryk, meaning they could help bolster Arteta’s squad in other areas, such as upfront and in deeper midfield.