In focus: Niang as Sanchez replacement is big risk for Arsenal

Arsenal are planning to launch a move for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang in the summer,¬†according to Mundo Deportivo.

What’s the story?

Niang is no stranger to the Gunners having had a trial at the club as a teenager.

Arsene Wenger has been linked with a move for the Frenchman in the past, and Mundo Deportivo claims that he could swoop back in when the season comes to an end.

However, it is believed that Wenger will only approach Milan regarding a potential transfer if Alexis Sanchez leaves the Emirates.

The Chile international has been in negotiations for months with Arsenal about signing a new deal, but an agreement is yet to be reached.

It has led to speculation that the 28-year-old, whose current contract expires in 2018, could move elsewhere.

Is Niang a good enough replacement?

The 22-year-old is versatile given that he can play in a forward role and on the left wing, where he is predominantly fielded.

So far this season, Niang has scored three goals and produced two assists in 17 Serie A appearances.

As the statistics show, the forward has been heavily involved in an attacking sense having created 35 shots and making 45 dribbles.

However, it would be difficult for the Frenchman to fill the boots of Sanchez, who has scored 16 goals in 27 appearances in all competitions.

Not only does the Chilean provide flair and skill, he brings experience having played at the top level for Barcelona during a three-year spell.

Niang is still in the early stages of his career, and even though he is playing at an elite club, the expectations on him at Arsenal would be huge.

If the forward was to join the Gunners, it would be better for him to be bled into the side gradually as opposed to throwing him into the deep end as a direct replacement for Sanchez.