Mikel Arteta reportedly has eyes for Yeremi Pino, with the Spaniard viewing the 19-year-old Villarreal winger as a long-term prospect for Arsenal.
According to Fichajes, Arsenal are prepared to make an offer to Villarreal for 19-year-old Spanish winger Yeremi Pino next summer. The Gunners are looking at younger talents to come into the side and become part of Mikel Arteta’s squad rebuild.
Yeremi Pino broke into Unai Emery’s Villarreal side last season and played a decent role as the Spanish side won the UEFA Europa League crown, beating Manchester United in the final on penalties. This season, he has retained the manager’s faith, starting every game in La Liga so far. At the same time, he has also broken into the Spanish national side.
Having scored two goals and provided three assists in all competitions this term, Pino continues to capture the attention of top clubs from England and Spain. There is a reported release clause in his contract, which Real Madrid are prepared to pay.
Having broken into Villarreal’s first team, the 19-year-old is wary of taking huge steps in his career at the moment, which points towards him snubbing Real Madrid’s advances. Some stories suggest that Pino might even sign a new long-term deal with the Yellow Submarine, bumping his release clause in the process.
With a new contract yet to be signed, Arsenal are willing to explore the idea of bringing the Spanish winger to north London. Arteta seems to be a big fan of Pino’s qualities and believes he will improve his squad massively. There could be an important place for Pino in the Arsenal squad if he decides to move across.
After using the previous transfer window to bring in young and important defensive players, Arteta is expected to focus on signing attacking talents next summer. The Spanish manager wants to freshen up his attacking line to an extent, with the futures of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe all doubtful.
Pepe, in particular, has not performed to full potential since signing for Arsenal in a £72 million deal. The Ivorian is into his third full season and has yet to convince Arteta or the Arsenal fan base about his consistency. He has also been relegated to the bench in recent games, with Bukayo Saka preferred on the right side of the Arsenal attack.
Meanwhile, Lacazette is expected to move on a free transfer after this season along with Eddie Nketiah. Considering Pino’s position as a winger, he may not be targeted to replace those two strikers with others such as Alexander Isak of Real Sociedad linked with a move to Arsenal.
If Arteta wants Pino, it could certainly be to replace someone like Pepe. The report suggests the Gunners are prepared to make an offer to Villarreal and test their resolve. They are unlikely to pay the release clause and will negotiate a lower transfer fee. Nevertheless, Pino could be an interesting addition to this Arsenal side, with Arteta building a team of young players.