That’s according to a recent report from Spain, who claim that, despite the Real Sociedad central midfielder reportedly having rejected the chance to join the Gunners after the Premier League side offered to pay the 23-year-old’s £52.5m release clause this winter, Mikel Arteta remains keen on a move for the Spain international at the end of the current campaign.
However, the report goes on to suggest that Arsenal are not alone in their pursuit of the playmaker, with Xavi Hernandez reported to view Zubimendi as the heir to Sergio Busquets in the heart of his Barcelona side – with the LaLiga outfit also believed to be keen on a deal to bring the Sociedad starlet to the Camp Nou in the summer transfer window.
Considering the sheer amount of potential Zubimendi quite clearly possesses, coupled with central midfield arguably being the area of Arteta’s squad that currently lacks the most strength in depth, it is not difficult to understand why the Spaniard would be keen on a deal to bring the midfielder to The Emirates at the end of the season.
Indeed, over his 17 LaLiga appearances in the current campaign, the £22m-rated talent has been in sensational form in the heart of Imanol Alguacil’s side, scoring one goal, registering two assists and creating two big chances, in addition to making an average of 0.5 key passes, playing 2.1 long balls and completing 40.9 total passes – at a success rate of 85% – per game.
The £50k-per-week wonderkid has also caught the eye in more workmanlike metrics, making an average of 1.9 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.6 clearances and winning 5.2 duels – at a success rate of 59% – per match.
These returns have seen the 23-year-old – who reporter Jose Alberto Chozas dubbed “exciting” and journalist Jacque Talbot labelled “the new Busquets” – average a simply sensational Sofascore statistical rating of 6.95, currently ranking him as third-placed Sociedad’s sixth-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football.
As such, with Zubimendi evidently being a midfielder who is incredibly creative in possession, strong in the tackle and excellent at reading the game, it is easy to see why the youngster has drawn comparisons to Barcelona legend Busquets, while it is also not hard to comprehend why Arteta would be keen to add the Spanish starlet to his midfield ranks in north London next summer.