Arsenal

Arsenal could sign “elegant” £43m-rated Martinelli rival likened to Mudryk

With comparisons to Mudryk, the Gunners might want to swerve this transfer.

Arsenal endured something of a midseason collapse prior to the winter break, with three losses on the trot seeing them fall to fourth in the Premier League and crash out of the FA Cup.

Mikel Arteta’s men registered just one goal in those three games while conceding six, so it isn’t surprising to see a host of names now linked to the Emirates this month.

One of those names is a promising youngster who is probably considered competition for an out-of-sorts Gabriel Martinelli, given his poor return of two league goals this season.

However, with this player being likened to Chelsea’s pricey flop Mykhalio Mudryk, it might be best for the Gunners to steer clear.

Mikel Arteta looks to his old team for attacking reinforcements
According to a report from The Sun earlier this week, Arsenal are interested in Real Sociedad winger Ander Barrenetxea this month and view him as a ‘top target’ to provide competition for Martinelli.

The publication has also revealed that north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are keen on bringing the young Spaniard to N17.

Both teams sent scouts to watch him play in the Basque Derby on Thursday night, although he was booked in the 61st minute, hooked in the 63rd, and Sociedad lost 2-1, so it wasn’t an ideal showing.

Valued at £43m by the CIES football observatory, this would likely be an expensive deal to complete – even with Arteta’s good relations with the club – and with the 22-year-old being compared to Mudryk, this might not be a deal worth completing.

How Barrenetxea compares to Mudryk and Martinelli
According to the footballing database FBref, the rapid Ukranian is the fifth most similar player to the Sociedad ace across Europe’s top five leagues.

This is based on the fact that the pair measure up and rank similarly for various key metrics in those leagues, such as touches in the opposition box, progressive carries and tackles per 90.

However, the percentiles in which they fall for these metrics are not impressive, with the “elegant but hard-working” Spaniard, as he was described by U23 scout Antonio Mango, sitting in the top 46% of wingers for touches in the opposition’s box, the top 29% for progressive carries and the top 19% for progressive passes received per 90.

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