Arsenal: Gunners would ‘prefer’ Martin Zubimendi over Moises Caicedo
Transfer expert Steve Kay says Arsenal would ‘prefer’ to sign Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi over Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo this summer.
The Lowdown: Arsenal in ‘pole position’
It has been reported that Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign Zubimendi this summer, after missing out on him in the January transfer window.
They were reportedly willing to pay his £52.5m release clause, but he did not want to leave Sociedad midway through the season.
The Gunners also had two bids rejected for Caicedo in January, the second thought to be worth £70m, while West Ham United’s Declan Rice has been linked with an £100m move to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
The Latest: Zubimendi over Caicedo
Taking to Twitter, Kay says that Mikel Arteta‘s side would ‘prefer’ to sign Zubimendi over Caicedo alongside Rice this summer:
“Arsenal would prefer to sign Martin #Zubimendi over Moises Caicedo in the upcoming summer window alongside midfielder Declan Rice.
“#AFC tried to sign the Sociedad player in January before #Caicedo but he wanted to keep loyal to the Spanish club until the end of the season.”
The Verdict: Get it done?
Caicedo may be unattainable this summer, having just signed a new contract that could keep him at Brighton until 2027.
Thus, Zubimendi would be a perfect alternative to help bolster up Arsenal’s midfield alongside top target Rice.
Lauded as a ‘special‘ midfielder by journalist Sid Lowe, who compares him to midfield legend Xabi Alonso, the Spaniard has also been labelled as the ‘new Sergio Busquets‘ in comparison to Barcelona’s midfield dynamo.
Compared with all midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues over the last year, Zubimendi ranks in the 91st percentile for aerials won per match, as well as in the 86th for clearances and 72nd for interceptions (FBRef), showing how effective he can be defensively, and under a former Spanish midfielder in Arteta, the 24-year-old could really blossom into one of the best.