Arsenal could sign another Oleksandr Zinchenko, with Gunners chief Edu Gaspar keen on Ivan Fresneda…
In recent weeks, the north London outfit have been linked with a move for the Real Valladolid CF gem, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano providing the latest on the situation. He told Caught Offside:
It’s thought that the Premier League leaders are prepared to pay around €20m (£18m) to get the deal done, as per reports in Spain.
The 18-year-old talent could be the next January signing on the club’s radar as they accelerate interest in Brighton and Hove Albion winger Leandro Trossard – also according to Romano – having missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk just last week.
Once part of Real Madrid‘s famed La Fábrica academy, the Spain U19 international is enjoying a breakthrough campaign at the LaLiga outfit – in which he’s already put himself amongst the very best in his role, ranking inside the top 1% for tackles, the top 4% for clearances and the top 9% for interceptions when compared to his positional peers across Europe’s elite five divisions, via FBref.
From his nine league appearances this term, we can see that he likes to come inside rather than hit the byline, as per his seasonal Sofascore heat map – very much in the style of Zinchenko – whilst he has created two big chances, averages 64 touches per game for a struggling side and rarely offers a cross.
Indeed, according to ESPNUK editor David Cartlidge, he’s “like a CM dropped in at full-back” due to his 6-foot frame, “athletic” ability and is “excellent” with the ball at his feet.
Such form and quality has seen the teenager dubbed as “one of the revelations of the season” by LaLiga expert Matt Clark, who further added:
“He is a remarkably complete right-back despite his young age, balancing his defensive duties with the odd attack too.
“He has that coveted combination of physicality and technical ability. Tall but agile, quick and athletic, he is also strong in the tackle and reads the game very well for someone so green when it comes to first-team football.”
Unlike the Ukraine star though, Fresneda is a natural right-sided option, so Arteta could well have two inverted sensations on either flank if Edu were to win the race for his signature.
Having averaged a 7.2 rating against LaLiga frontrunners Real Madrid, it does appear as if the young wonderkid is ready for the leap to a much bigger side, perhaps that should already be known given Fresneda has been also dubbed as a “very special talent” by Cartlidge.
As such, Arsenal must look to hand Arteta his new right-sided Zinchenko by signing Fresneda before deadline day on January 31st.