Report: Arsenal interested in Ukrainian youngster
Arsenal are among a number of Premier League clubs thought to be interested in Dynamo Kiev attacking midfielder Mykola Shaparenko.
The youngster is also reportedly on the radar of West Ham, although Caught Offside have highlighted potential issues with gaining a work permit should a Premier League club pursue a move.
Arsenal have seen Aaron Ramsey depart in that position, which may explain the club’s current links to Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos, who the club are reportedly confident of luring to the Emirates Stadium in the near future.
Opting for Shaparenko as an alternative could go in line with Arsenal’s current trend of recruiting young talent to add to the arrival of 19-year-old Gabriel Martinelli – who is currently Arsenal’s only summer signing at the time of writing – while confirmation of teenager William Saliba’s switch to North London is expected following an agreement being reached last week, according to reports.
With other youngsters from the youth team getting first-team runouts last season (most notably Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe), the inclusion of other academy products such as Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson in the Gunners’ pre-season tour suggests Unai Emery’s recruitment strategy has a youthful theme.
An acquisition of Shaparenko may not be described as top-dollar – if his market value (£3.15m according to Transfermarkt) is anything go by – though the added bonus of bringing in someone of Ceballos’ ilk (having just become an Under-21 European champion with Spain) on loan for a season may take precedent while the Gunners’ financial resources remain stretched.
So it may be more realistic to label Shaparenko as a potential Plan B for Emery this summer – and with the Gunners boss stating his desire not to pursue those alternatives if he can help it, perhaps it’s best the Kiev wonderkid doesn’t pack his bags just yet.
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