Former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco has reportedly been offered to Arsenal for £25 million.
Carrasco has spent the last year playing his football in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Yifang and is in talks with the north London club, according to Sky Sports Italia.
Is Carrasco worth £25m to Arsenal? Five things to know…
- Carrasco, it is claimed, is looking for wages in the region of £170,000 per week.
- The Belgian joined Dalian Yifang from Atletico Madrid for £26.5m last February after three years in the Spanish capital.
- The winger helped Belgium to third place in the 2018 World Cup but primarily played as a wing-back.
- Arsenal currently have a shortage of wingers and manager Unai Emery has confirmed plans to sign one this month.
- They have been heavily linked to Barcelona’s £20m-rated Denis Suarez, a central midfielder who is also capable of playing out wide.
It is believed Carrasco, who currently earns around £9m per year (about £173k per week), is open to taking a pay cut to join Arsenal. At 25, Carrasco has time on his side and this move looks as if it could be coming at the right time for a player who said he moved out of European football to earn a spot in Belgium’s World Cup squad.
This season, Emery hasn’t been blessed with a plethora of wingers at Arsenal. Oftentimes it is unknown whether he will go into matches with a system favouring either wingers or wing-backs.
When using the former, however, Arsenal typically play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi or Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the wide areas. Although Aubameyang possesses great pace, the other two aren’t natural wingers. What’s more, Mkhitaryan is currently out injured.
This in mind, Emery’s reasoning for requesting a new wide-attacker is clear. Carassco will represent a tempting option in this sense, one who has had his fair share of high-profile admirers.
While with Atletico, manager Diego Simeone spoke highly of Carassco, saying: “He is a very complete player with a bright future ahead of him. He is on the path and getting even better.”
Do Arsenal need Carrasco and Suarez?
But Arsenal do have a limited transfer budget for this month, and they are also said to be heavily interested in Barcelona playmaker Denis Suarez. The Spanish midfielder’s contract expires in 2020 and Barcelona don’t look likely to be giving him an extension.
Looking to cash in, the Spanish giants appear most likely to sell to Arsenal, who are said to be in talks over a loan deal which would become a permanent £15m transfer in the summer.
One thing going for Arsenal in this move is that Emery already has a relationship with Suarez after the Spaniard’s loan spell at Sevilla in the 2014-15 season.
Going into the second half of the season, Arsenal have a fairly depleted squad. This has especially been the case out wide as well as in defence, where Arsenal can’t seem to play centre-backs consistently.
On the whole, were it to come down to a choice between Suarez and Carrasco, the Belgian looks like to be the signing of which Arsenal are most in need: a real winger who is able to test his full back isn’t something Arsenal possess at the moment.
Alex Iwobi is developing well under Emery, but bringing another traditional winger to the club would add yet another dimension to their attack. Reiss Nelson returns in the summer, too, which would leave Arsenal well-stocked in terms of wide men.
As for Suarez, by adding him to the roster Arsenal will have a creative and technical central operator able to fill the void left by Aaron Ramsey should he leave – as he is expected to do so. The total outlay for both Suarez and Carrasco would, if the aforementioned reports are accurate, amount to something like £40m. In perspective, that is less than fees paid by ‘big-six’ rivals for the likes of Fabinho (£44m), Jorginho (£43m) and Riyad Mahrez (£60m). It is also less than Bournemouth’s total outlay for last summer’s window. (around £47m), but could prove the difference between Champions League qualification and another season in the Europa League for the Gunners.