Arsenal

Arsenal can sign the perfect competition for Saka in £60m “wizard”

Arsenal can sign the perfect competition for Saka in £60m “wizard”

Arsenal have been enjoying a relatively successful season so far this year; not only did they comfortably top their Champions League group, but they also spent Christmas Day at the top of the Premier League table.

However, consecutive league losses following that saw them welcome in the new year down in fourth place, and while their defence and midfield have been thoroughly impressive this year, their attack has left a lot to be desired.

One of the shining lights at the club is Hale End graduate Bukayo Saka, and while he is one of the first names on the teamsheet, he could do with some genuine competition to prevent Mikel Arteta from overplaying him.

Luckily, the latest player linked with the Gunners could provide just that: Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise.

Arsenal transfer news – Michael Olise
According to Football Transfers, Arsenal have maintained their interest in Palace’s French attacker Olise, and in a positive development for the Gunners, the report has confirmed that the 22-year-old would prefer a move to the Emirates over one to Manchester United.

The London-born dynamo did sign a new deal with the Eagles during the summer, but the report has claimed that the new contract includes a release clause around the €70m – £60m – mark.

While that would represent a significant investment from the Gunners, they have already proven that they are now ready to spend what is required to sign the best players in the league, with Declan Rice costing them £105m.

Moreover, having a player that football writer Muhammad Butt dubbed a “wizard” to provide competition for Saka can only be a good thing for all involved.

Michael Olise could be the perfect competition for Bukayo Saka
Now, to expect anyone to come into the current Arsenal side and outright displace fan favourite Saka would be wholly unreasonable, but to be a successful transfer, Olise would just need to come in and provide genuine competition, which for a player of his quality should be no problem at all.

Described as “phenomenal” by U23 scout Antonio Mango, the Palace star missed the start of this season through injury, but since his return, he has been on fire, scoring five goals and providing one assist in just seven Premier League starts – including a stunner against Luton Town.

To put that into context, Saka has scored six goals and provided six assists in 19 starts this season, which is both impressive and the perfect example of why the Gunners could do with another talented right-winger.

Things look even better for Olise when comparing the pairs’ underlying numbers, as while the Arsenal ace still just about comes out on top, the dynamic Frenchman is practically neck and neck with him on most essential metrics.

In fact, he comes out ahead of his potential new teammate when it comes to non-penalty expected goals and assists, progressive passes, and shot-creating actions.

That said, when it comes to goal-creating actions, touches in the opposition penalty area, winning aerial duels and progressive carries, the ace in red and white emerges victorious

Ultimately, with Arsenal now competing on multiple fronts, Arteta will need a reliable alternative to Saka either for competition’s sake or simply rotation, and there really aren’t many options better than Olise.

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