Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley this summer and his arrival at the Emirates could see Mikel Arteta repeat a transfer masterclass.
According to ESPN, Arsenal are amongst a number of Premier League sides including Manchester United, Liverpool, Leicester City and Newcastle United interested in signing the Denmark U21 international.
While Celtic are understandably keen to keep him at Parkhead, the report suggests that an offer of £20m could be enough them part ways with the talented youngster.
The former Fulham man burst onto the scene with a fine spell at MK Dons, where he was dubbed a “pressing machine” by his manager Russell Martin before earning his move to Celtic. In Scotland, he has established himself as a first-team regular in Ange Postecoglou’s side very quickly.
The 21-year-old has made 25 appearances for the Hoops, in which he has contributed four goals and five assists. He has started the new season in impressive form, with three assists in his opening five appearances, for which he has averaged an impressive 7.22 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
On that evidence, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s been described by pundit Michael Stewart as “silky” and “classy”
For comparison, the above rating would rank him as the fourth-best player in Arsenal’s squad so far this season, despite the Gunners winning four from four, which emphasises the quality that he could bring and the confidence that he is currently playing with.
Ross County boss Malky Mackay was full of praise for O’Riley after he impressed in a 2-0 win for the Hoops last year.
He said: “The fact they’ve gone and found O’Riley is a fantastic piece of business. He’s a wonderful young player. I even enjoy the fact he’s decided to go and play for Denmark, that he’s confident enough to throw his hat in there.
“To go into that Celtic team as a young squad player, make the impact he’s made and show he thinks he should be playing every week is a great credit to him.”
Arsenal have rarely looked towards Scotland for signings in recent years but Kieran Tierney has more than proved his worth since arriving from Celtic in 2019.
The left-back joined in a £25m deal and, while he has struggled with injury issues at times, he has impressed in his 91 appearances for the Gunners, contributing four goals and 12 assists.
With the added competition of Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, this could be a real breakthrough season for the Scottish full-back, who will be hoping to help inspire Arsenal to a top-four finish after making his first start of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Fulham.
If O’Riley can come into Arsenal’s side and have a similar impact to Tierney, then he could prove to be another excellent piece of business by Edu.