Arsenal are interested in a deal to bring Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
That’s according to recent reports from Spain, which claim that, with injuries to both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny highlighting Mikel Arteta’s lack of depth in central midfield, the Spaniard could well be tempted to bring in a new player in the position this winter, with there said to be signs that the 40-year-old is targeting the SS Lazio sensation.
And, with Fabrizio Romano recently relaying the comments of the 27-year-old’s agent, Mateja Kezman, who claimed that the midfielder will discuss his future with the Serie A side after the World Cup this winter, there would appear to be a possibility of the Serbia international moving onto pastures new – especially with just 18 months remaining on his current deal.
Having said that, with Romano also going on to reveal that Claudio Lotito has now placed a €120m (£105m) asking price on the playmaker, any move by Arteta and Edu to bring the midfielder to north London would not appear to come cheap.
Considering just how impressive Milinkovic-Savic has been for Lazio in recent seasons, it is easy to see why Arteta would be interested in a deal to bring the 27-year-old to The Emirates this winter, as well as why Lotito looks to have placed an extremely hefty asking price on the midfielder’s head.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £43.5m-rated playmaker ranks in the top 2% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90, in addition to the top 3% for non-penalty xG, the top 6% for shots, the top 1% for assists and the top 19% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days – proving just how effective the Serbian is in the final third.
The £99k-per-week talent also impresses in possession of the ball, with FBref ranking Milinkovic-Savic in the top 15% for passes attempted per 90, as well as the top 14% for dribbles completed, the top 3% for touches in the opposition penalty area, the top 4% for progressive passes received and the top 33% for progressive passes over the past 12 months.
From these metrics, it is easy to see why Ciro Immobile – the 27-year-old’s teammate at the Stadio Olimpico – went as far as to compare the midfielder to Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, stating: “Trust me, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is magic. He’s on the same level as Kevin De Bruyne.”
As such, with it being clear to see that Milinkovic-Savic is very much one of the most talented midfielders currently playing the game, should Arteta manage to get a deal over the line for the 35-cap international this winter, the Spaniard could well have unearthed Arsenal’s very own De Bruyne-esque talent.
As a player with a mind-boggling 96 Premier League assists to his name, that’s a prospect that is sure to be incredibly tantalising for the Gunners faithful.