Arsenal round-up: Napoli forward linked; Wenger on Wilshere; Teenager targeted
Arsenal could be ready to make a major splash in the transfer market as they search for an Alexis Sanchez replacement. Calciomercato report that the Gunners have had a long-standing interest in Dries Mertens and may be tempted to activate the €30 million release clause in his contract next summer. He only recently signed a new deal at Napoli in recent months, but that won’t stop Arsene Wenger from making a move.
This would be an incredible deal for Arsenal as Mertens has emerged as one of the best forwards in the world. Last season, he scored 34 goals for Napoli and has started the new campaign in a similarly rich vein of form. It would be a coup if the Gunners could attract him to North London and he would be a great replacement for Sanchez. This is only a rumour at this stage, but if it develops, supporters have every right to be excited.
Jack Wilshere made his first start of the season during the week and he delivered an assured performance against Doncaster Rovers. It is too soon to get excited as the opposition wasn’t the best, but he could only play what was in front of him. Arsene Wenger shared his thoughts on the midfielder’s future to the club site:
“I think he’s an Arsenal man and an Arsenal player. He would certainly like to stay but we haven’t spoken about that because at the start of the season I thought we had to see how it evolves and see what kind of influence he can have in the squad throughout the season.”
It was great to see him back in an Arsenal shirt and there will be a section of the support that want to see him get a final chance to prove himself in the first-team. Wenger isn’t ruling out a new contract, but he needs to be convinced that the midfielder can stay fit and contribute positively on the pitch.
Arsene Wenger keeps a close eye on young players breaking through across Europe and Pietro Pellegri is the latest name that has been linked to the club. The Mirror report that Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are all interested in the teenager. Last weekend, he scored a stunning brace for Genoa against Lazio and he caught the attention of the footballing world.
This story should be taken with a pinch of salt as it is easy to link a player that has just scored two goals to a host of big clubs. Pellegri is certainly a talent, but it is way too soon to talk about a move to the Premier League. He is only 16 and he will want to build up a lot more experience with Genoa before a move away.