According to reports surfacing from Europe on Tuesday morning, Arsenal have allegedly been focusing their attention on bringing in young German midfielder Aymen Barkok over the summer.
German outlet Spox claims that boss Arsene Wenger has been keeping an eye on the 19-year-old’s situation for the past year now, and the latest reports allege that Arsenal have submitted a seven-digit offer for him.
Despite having a formal bid rejected last season by Barkok’s current side Eintracht Frankfurt, it appears that Wenger has returned to the Bundesliga for round two this summer to push a deal through.
What’s the youngster’s background story?
Born in Frankfurt – and of Moroccan descent – Barkok’s footballing career on the big stage has only really just got going, signing his first professional contract with his hometown team in October 2016.
Up until then he had been playing for the likes of SG Praunheim, Rot-Weiss Frankfurt and Kickers Offenbach in the lower echelons of the German league system, and it wasn’t until 2013 when he joined up with Eintracht Frankfurt’s youth sides, working his way up the ranks into their first-team.
This culminated with being awarded his Bundesliga debut as a late substitute against Werder Bremen in November 2016, coming off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time winner for his side.
Since then he’s managed to feature 18 times for the first-team, including six Bundesliga starts, quietly impressing as he picked up two goals and two assists in Eintracht’s steady mid-table finish.
In fact, he has impressed that much that he was awarded with a Germany Under-19 call-up for the ongoing European Championships in Georgia, playing in the side that lost 4-1 to England last week.
Could he bring much to the Emirates next season?
There’s a lot of hype and potential surrounding Barkok heading into the summer, and Spox have claimed that it’s not just Arsenal interested in signing him – other Bundesliga sides are keen as well.
Despite his tender age he is a midfielder who loves to run with the ball at his feet, driving right at the heart of the opposition defence and causing them to panic and make mistakes.
What he lacks in aerial threat and physical presence he makes up for in intelligent play, always searching for a long ball over the top or an intricate short pass that moves his team up the pitch.
Since playing relatively regularly in the Bundesliga he has also developed a stubborn nature and a hardiness to his play, not afraid to draw in the challenge – or, for that matter, get stuck in himself.
He may not exactly be the household name that Arsenal fans are looking for this summer, and there’s little chance he’s a ready-made first-team player, but he’s certainly a man to look out for in the future.
With reports claiming he would cost less than £10 million to bring to the Emirates – and with the lure of the Premier League itself – the addition of the 19-year-old may well be a risk that pays off down the line.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ai Kagou.