Arsenal: Gabriele Marcotti questions why Arteta would want Ivan Fresneda
ESPN pundit Gabriele Marcotti has questioned what Arsenal see in transfer target Ivan Fresneda.
The Lowdown: Arteta wants strength in depth
The Gunners have reportedly taken the lead in the race for Fresneda amid competition from clubs such as Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund, with their ominous lead at the top of the table potentially playing a part.
As things stand, Mikel Arteta is playing Ben White at right-back in most games despite the former Brighton defender being a natural centre-back for the majority of his career thus far.
Fresneda is clearly still very raw at 18 years old and has just 10 first-team appearances in the top flight under his belt, but that’s seemingly not put off the Gunners in ploughing ahead with their interest.
The Latest: Fresneda could be flattering to deceive
Marcotti has admitted on The Gab & Juls Show that he’s watched Fresneda twice this season and is still yet to be impressed by the youngster amid Arsenal’s interest.
He said: “I have to say, I saw this dude – maybe it’s because Valladolid aren’t very good – [but] I watched two entire Valladolid games. In one he was okay, and in the other one, he wasn’t very good, although Valladolid weren’t good. Are we getting a little bit carried away, what are they seeing?”
The Verdict: Arsenal preparing for the future
Fresneda is still very young so will have a lot to learn, but given that a lot of Arsenal’s star players this season are at the beginning of their careers as well, the defender may yet thrive in such an exciting up-and-coming squad and environment.
The Gunners are in need of reinforcements this month, particularly in midfield due to Mohamed Elneny’s injury, and while right-back may not be a priority position as of yet, if Cedric Soares leaves on loan, it quickly will be.
Is Fresneda good enough for Arsenal?
It should also be considered that Takehiro Tomiyasu hasn’t had a clean bill of health this season, so having someone young such as Fresneda coming into the club could be just what Arteta needs in case of an emergency given he already possesses plenty of ‘technical ability’ and ‘athletic’ attributes, according to La Liga expert Matt Clark.