Arsenal have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Sergej Milinković-Savić to The Emirates.
That’s according to a report by Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), who claim that, after seeing their reported interest in a €60m (£52m) move for the SS Lazio central midfielder this summer lead nowhere, the Gunners’ excellent start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign has made the club a ‘more tempting’ prospect for the 27-year-old.
The report goes on to suggest that there are rumours of Edu preparing a fresh €60m (£52m) plus Albert Sambi Lokonga bid for the Serbia international this winter, however, Claudio Lotito is believed to be holding out for a figure in the region of €100m (£86.5m) in order to part with Milinković-Savić.
Speaking about the ability of Milinković-Savić back in October, Ciro Immobile stated his belief that the midfielder is “on the same level as Kevin de Bruyne“, and considering his returns for Lazio over the past year, it is not difficult to understand why the Italy centre-forward holds this belief of the 27-year-old.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £52m-rated talent currently ranks in the top 2% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 6% for non-penalty xG, the top 5% for shots, the top 2% for assists, the top 6% for xAG and the top 16% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days – proving just how deadly the Serb is in the final third.
The £100k-per-week playmaker also impresses with the ball at his feet, with FBref also ranking the 36-cap international in the top 12% of midfielders for passes attempted per 90, as well as the top 16% for dribbles, the top 27% for progressive passes, the top 4% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the top 5% for progressive passes received over the past 12 months.
As such, it is no surprise to see FBref list the “magic” – in the words of Immobile – player amongst some of Europe’s most talented midfielders, such as Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
Indeed, with the Belgium international being the lynchpin in City’s four Premier League-winning campaigns over the last five years, should Edu manage to get a deal over the line for the 27-year-old in January, Milinković-Savić may prove to become Mikel Arteta’s own De Bruyne-esque figure.
That’s a statement that when combined with his remarkable haul of 11 goals and 12 assists from last term, could well lead them to the title.