The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern finally had something to celebrate on Thursday night as they watched their side record a morale-boosting victory over AC Milan at the San Siro.
Following days of turmoil and relentless rumours surrounding the future of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal ended their barren run of form by recording a 2-0 victory in their first-leg clash against the Rossoneri in the Europa League. The victory arrived as a welcome relief from the predictable topics surrounding the club concerning Wenger’s shortcomings and Arsenal’s general decline.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first goal for the club to break the deadlock on Italian soil on an evening when his former club Borussia Dortmund suffered a shock home defeat against RB Salzburg in the same competition. Marco Reus continued his comeback from a cruciate ligament injury by playing 90 minutes for the first time this season, and there was further good news for Dortmund supporters the following day as the club confirmed he has signed a contract extension on Friday afternoon.
The news arrived as a bitter blow for Arsenal supporters who harboured hopes of landing the 28-year-old in the future. According to Goal, Arsenal were monitoring Reus’ progress in the Bundesliga, but the news regarding his contract extension will certainly force The Gunners to consider alternative options moving forward.
One player who Wenger would be wise to consider bringing to The Emirates Stadium this summer is Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey (valued at £25.2 million by Transfermarkt) who is undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects in European football right now. The fact that Bailey is a naturally left-footed left-winger makes him something of a rare breed in an era where the majority of wide players prefer to cut inside onto their favoured foot.
However, Bailey also has the ability to perform a role cutting inside from the right-hand side, and his versatility could prove to be a valuable weapon for The Gunners to exploit next season. The fact that the 20-year-old has scored 9 goals and provided 5 assists from his 21 Bundesliga appearances this season speaks volumes about the enormity of his potential, so Arsenal would be foolish not to consider signing him in the future.
Bailey’s form certainly won’t go unnoticed by Europe’s heavyweight clubs this season and Arsenal should expect plenty of competition for his signature, but if they can persuade Bailey to make the switch to North-London they will be welcoming a player of raw quality who will light up the Premier League for years to come.