Arsenal are reportedly keen on roping in Real Madrid’s 21-year-old midfield prodigy Marcos Llorente, who is performing beyond expectations on loan at La Liga side Alaves.

 

According to Spanish outlet Don Balon (h/t HITC), Premier League giants Arsenal are monitoring Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente. The 21-year-old is currently out on loan at Alaves and has put in a decent showing for the Babazorros.

The report states that Arsene Wenger is prepared to offer Llorente a lucrative contract to lure him away from the clutches of Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman is understood to be an admirer of the youngster, but may fail to match the offer Arsenal are ready to table.

The 21-year-old is a ball-playing defensive midfielder and has been eyed as an understudy to Casemiro. However, the Brazilian is still relatively young at the age of 24, and Llorente might struggle to displace him from Los Blancos‘ starting lineup. A move away from the Santiago Bernabeu may be in the best interests of the player.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 10: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Marcos Llorente of Deportivo Alaves during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 10: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Marcos Llorente of Deportivo Alaves during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo courtesy: David Ramos/Getty Images)

If the player opts to move to North London, he will be faced with similarly intense competition. Wenger has a number of players at his disposal to fit into the two midfield positions, and Llorente will start from way down in the pecking order for the French manager.

Arsenal signed Mohamed Elneny in January this year, followed by Granit Xhaka in the summer. Both these players are quality holding midfielders and the Real youngster is not quite an upgrade on either. Francis Coquelin is another option for Wenger in that position. Thus, Arsenal’s interest in signing another defensive midfielder is unlikely to be particularly strong.

That being said, Llorente possess solid footballing skills and has shown similarities to Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla. With the 31-year-old’s contract expiring in the summer, Wenger might be eyeing the Real Madrid midfielder as a potential replacement for the ageing Spaniard.

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