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Arsenal: Gunners ‘monitoring’ Ismael Bennacer ahead of January

Arsenal: Gunners ‘monitoring’ Ismael Bennacer ahead of January -Arsenal News

Arsenal are reportedly ‘monitoring’ Ismael Bennacer’s situation at AC Milan ahead of a potential move for their former player in the January transfer window.

The Lowdown: Emirates return?

Bennacer played 32 times for the Gunners at youth level, and made one senior appearance for them in the League Cup back in the 2015/16 season (Transfermarkt).

The now 25-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements at a young age, but his career has taken a turn for the better, winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria in 2019, and the Serie A with Milan last term (Transfermarkt).

The Latest: Arsenal interest

As per Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Mikel Arteta’s side are just one of a number of clubs that are ‘monitoring’ Bennacer’s situation ‘carefully’ ahead of January, with fellow Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea also thought to hold an interest.

Milan want to give him an improved contract, with his current deal expiring in 2024, but there is no guaranteed that he will sign on at the San Siro, and he has recently changed agent which could help force through a move away.

The Verdict: Get it done

Clubs should always be wary about signing former players, but in this case, the North Londoners should be trying to do all that they can to sign Bennacer in January.

Lauded as an ‘absolutely unbelievable‘ player by journalist Sam Tighe, the central midfielder ranks in the 94th percentile for shot-creating actions, 93rd for tackles, 88th for dribbles completed and 85th for progressive passes per match of all his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year (FBRef), showing that he has developed into one of Europe’s best midfielders since leaving Arsenal.

Nonetheless, Bennacer would add quality squad depth in the middle of the park, and could make a real difference as Arteta’s side chase down the Premier League title.

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