Arsenal is set to press full steam ahead with his transfer philosophy by entering the race to sign French wonderkid M’Baye Niang. Aged only 16, Niang is already an important member of the Caen first team, and will reportedly fetch a fee of around £9m.
At first glance, many Arsenal fans would be dismayed at this signing given the heightened need to invest big in proven quality players to replace key figures Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. However, a little perspective is needed as Niang is currently one of the most-sought after players in Europe.
Born in Senegal, Niang has represented France at u-16 and u-17 level and has declared his preference to play for the French national team over the country of his birth. He plays as an attacking midfielder but has been more frequently deployed as a striker for his club.
So much so that Arsenal face huge competition for the player’s signature. Not least from arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur who are believed to have scouted the youngster last season. Other interested teams include Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan.
Wenger will however be confident that his excellent reputation at bringing through young French talent will work in his favour.
Following the costly purchase of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain from Southampton, you’d have to wonder whether there was space in the squad for both players, especially when many people are expecting this year to be the one for Japanese hotshot Ryo Miyaichi to emerge.
Whether or not Wenger succeeds in this bid, the fact remains that he needs to strengthen his squad hugely before now and the end of the transfer window.