Premier League table-toppers Arsenal have taken the top flight of English football by storm during the 2022-23 season under highly-rated young tactician Mikel Arteta after entering the extended international break for the 2022 World Cup ahead of the pack as the young Gunners outfit leads the race to Premier League honors ahead of champions-elect Manchester City.
Arteta’s depth of young quality could be added to during the January transfer window after reports in the Mirror suggest that the north London giants have a clear pathway to secure a deal for Ukrainian starlet Mykhailo Mudryk.
Arguably the most highly regarded talent to come out of Ukraine in years, Mudryk has set the world alight for domestic dynastic outfit Shakhtar Donetsk since breaking into the first-team set up in 2021-22, with Mudryk having starred in the Champions League group stage this season and already showing incredible progression in his development on the left flank for Hirnyky.
It was first thought that Shakhtar would not part ways with the 21-year-old winger for anything less than €100m after reports from ESPN cited The Athletic as club director of football and former star right-back Dario Srna placing the gargantuan valuation on the Krasnohrad in the wake of Manchester United spending €95m on Antony and €85m on Jadon Sancho.
Srna also places just Kylian Mbappé and Vinícius Júnior as the only players in the world ahead of the Ukrainian in his position currently, justifying the fee requested, but the Mirror suggests that Shakhtar have come down off their lofty perch and will settle for just £40m.
CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs added further clarity to the situation when he stated “Publicly, Shakhtar are starting to say £86million but, privately, I’m told by sources at the club that £51m-£56m is a viable number that they might consider selling Mudryk for. That’s good news from Arsenal and other suitors’ perspectives that his price has risen but not quite to £86m (€100m), at least not privately despite what Shakhtar may say in public.”
Arsenal has also been linked with a consistent interest in PSV Eindhoven’s Dutch star Cody Gakpo who is currently on international duty with the Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup but rivals Manchester United appear to have a clear run at the 23-year-old in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract termination and Gakpo’s utilization as a center-forward by Louis van Gaal opening the door for his possible arrival at Old Trafford as a replacement for the Portuguese icon.
Adding Mudryk to a young attacking depth that includes Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Ødegaard, and Eddie Nketiah would show the consistent targeting by Arteta and Edu of long-term progression built on the success of a core of talent with high ceilings that could help push the club to success not seen since the Arsène Wenger era.
With Mudryk said to be adamant about moving to the Emirates and linking up on the left flank with countryman Oleksandr Zinchenko, Arsenal could have another top-tier young player on its hands to build a platform of long-term success that is proving itself capable of going toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola’s vaunted title-winning hegemony in the northwest of England.