Arsenal are reportedly keeping a close eye on the development of Paraguayan talents Julio Enciso and Alexis Duarte this season.
According to a report from Cronica, Arsenal have been focusing heavily on their scouting mission in Paraguay. One of their top scouts, Everton Gushiken, is closely monitoring the progress of two talents in particular, in the form of Julio Enciso and Alexis Duarte.
Enciso is a secondary striker by trade who currently plies his trade for Libertad. At the age of just 18, the youngster has made a solid impression with his performances in the Paraguayan top-flight, with his ten goals in nine matches this term helping Libertad keep up with Cerro Porteno at the top of the table.
Enciso’s rapid rise to prominence has even made him a prominent figure in the Paraguayan national team. The youngster has won five caps for his national team so far, though the striker is yet to find the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Alexis Duarte is a central defender, who plays for league leaders Cerro Porteno. Although the sides are level on points in the Paraguayan top-flight at the moment, Cerro Porteno have a far better defensive record, having conceded just six times in the league this season.
Much of the credit should be given to Duarte, who has become a defensive mainstay for the league leaders. Standing at 1.86m, the 22-year-old has an imposing physique that has made him quite an obstacle for most attackers across the league, while the youngster has also showcased impressive maturity and work ethic.
Duarte is yet to win a single call-up to the national team just yet, but his performances have not gone unnoticed. Arsenal are among the clubs keeping close tabs on his progress, along with compatriot Enciso.
Signing the two players, however, could be a tricky piece of business for Arsenal. While Duarte is only valued at €4 million by Cerro Porteno, Libertad are unlikely to offload Enciso for anything less than the €10 million mark.
A total of almost €15 million could be quite an investment from Arsenal for a couple of players who are yet to be tested at the highest level of football. So it will be interesting to see how the Gunners approach this pursuit this summer.