Arsenal are reportedly interested in raiding Real Madrid to sign teenage midfielder Cesar Gelabert this summer – and if Zinedine Zidane’s past comments are anything to go by, The Gunners would be landing a gem of a player.
Spanish newspaper AS have reported that Mikel Arteta is interested in luring the 19-year-old to The Emirates in the coming months, as he continues to impress for Madrid’s Castilla outfit who play in the second tier of Spanish football.
Arteta is keen on landing the attacking midfielder after watching him score against both Tottenham and Chelsea for Real’s Under-19 side, and has kept tabs on the youngster since. He is now expected to enter the last 12 months of his current deal.
A move this summer is likely for the Spain youth international, then, who is yet to play a single minute of senior football. But Zidane’s comments on Gelabert from May 2018 are certainly encouraging from an Arsenal point of view.
“That’s a very good question,” Zidane told AS about Gelabert getting game time, in 2018. “It’s important to talk about the canteranos, who are the future of Real Madrid. He is a very good player, very adventurous on the ball.”
The Gunners do have plenty of options in attacking midfield. Gelabert is naturally a 10, but can play out wide and in central midfield – and the likes of Joe Willock and Mesut Ozil can do similar.
Out wide, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka are Arteta’s options, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli have also been used on the flanks this season.
But with Willock and Nelson yet to show their best and Ozil’s future in doubt, Gelabert could be brought in as a long-term option to rival those players. Certainly, Zidane’s comments are encouraging from an Arsenal point of view.