In Focus: Arsenal target Sander Berge can solve their midfield issue

According to reports in The Mirror, Arsenal are hoping to beat Everton, Monaco and Sevilla to the signing of £18m-rated Genk midfielder Sander Berge.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the highly-rated Norwegian star has been watched by Gunners scouts for a number of months now and they are said to have built up a good rapport with the 19-year-old’s camp.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be looking for a new defensive midfielder this summer with the likes of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny struggling to impress – a move that would allow the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka more attacking freedom.

How did Berge do last season?

The defensive midfielder spent the first half of the campaign with Norwegian outfit Valerenga, before signing a four-year deal to join Genk during the January transfer window.

Despite the potential he clearly has, not many would have expected the 19-year-old to go on to become an integral part of the team, but that is exactly what he did.

Berge made 27 appearances in all competitions, with his performances catching the eye of Arsenal scouts, while he has also appeared three times for the senior Norway national side.

Where would he fit in at Arsenal?

As we mentioned previously, the 19-year-old could be seen as a long-term solution to their defensive midfield issue, but it remains to be seen whether he would be chucked straight into the starting line-up if Arsene Wenger signed him this summer.

Of course, as we have seen with Rob Holding the experienced French manager isn’t afraid to do exactly that, and a debut for Berge could come sooner than expected.

Would Arsenal pay £18m for him?

If they believe that he has a big future ahead of him and could be a first team regular for a number of years, then there is no reason why not.

The 19-year-old certainly has all of the attributes to be a great defensive midfielder as he is tall, strong and comfortable on the ball.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, having only been with Genk for six months it remains to be seen whether Berge could be prised away from the Belgian outfit this summer.

However, Arsenal look to have the advantage over his other suitors should he be allowed to leave, and they would have no issue paying the £18m fee as they look to back Arsene Wenger.