According to TEAMtalk, Arsenal are targeting Matty Longstaff in what would be the next step of Mikel Arteta’s plan.
The reports claim that the north London club lead the way to sign the central midfield player but face competition from the likes of Everton, West Ham United, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Club Brugge, Inter Milan and Atalanta.
Longstaff is out of contract in June and would rather leave the Magpies than sign a new one, according to the article. As a result, the Gunners are the reported front-runners and signing the 20-year old could be a positive step in Arteta’s plan of building a more youthful team to hopefully dominate in the future.
The Spanish coach has turned to youth in his short spell not just as Arsenal manager but in his managerial career overall. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah have all enjoyed a fair number of appearances under the Spaniard, with the latter having his loan spell at Leeds United cut short to help the senior team out and the 20-year old has kept £54-million rated Alexandre Lacazette out of the starting eleven in recent games (via Transfermarkt).
The youngsters mentioned above have made 57 appearances between them in all competitions for the north London club under Arteta, scoring seven goals and providing a further six assists according to Transfermarkt.
Longstaff may be a decent addition to the Gunners midfield having been capped twice at England U-20 level and playing seven times in the Premier League this season, scoring two goals (via Transfermarkt).
Indeed, the central midfield department has arguably been a problem area for the Gunners given that Granit Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy in November (via BBC) and Lucas Torreira has not always started in this campaign, coming off the bench twelve times in all competitions (via Transfermarkt).
With that in mind, Longstaff could prove to be another handy youngster to have in Arteta’s armoury as he looks to build for the future, with the likes of Graeme Souness praising his ability to strike the ball, as well as Jamie Redknapp purring over how ‘tenacious’ he can be.
Arsenal fans, would Longstaff get into your starting eleven? Comment below!
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