Arsenal presented with two possible avenues of reinforcement
101greatgoals.com/news/marseilles-star-dimitri-payet-the-latest-to-question-arsenals-treatment-of-william-saliba/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Arsenal
101greatgoals.com/news/marseilles-star-dimitri-payet-the-latest-to-question-arsenals-treatment-of-william-saliba/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Arsenalare well on their way to finally building something under boss Mikel Arteta and the club’s technical director Edu Gaspar.
With heavy reinforcement taking place this summer, the identity of the first-team on and off the pitch has taken shape with a specific transfer directive at the heart of the club’s market movement.
Arteta’s Arsenal have recently been linked with Club Brugge’s Dutch starlet Noa Lang, in a potential January move.. The new Dutch international continues to dazzle both on the domestic front in the Jupiler Pro League – to the tune of 3-goals and 4-assists across ten appearances, and in Blauw-Zwart‘s credible Champions League campaign thus far. Interest in Lang is high, however, with AC Milan rumored to be in the lead for his signature and Leeds United having previously been hot on his trail in the summer.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) October 14, 2021
But a different avenue for business has recently presented itself for the Gunners, in the vein of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling. The England international spoke freely on Thursday about the potential for a move abroad to test himself outside of England’s borders, but Arsenal have been linked with the City winger – who is well out of favor under Pep Guardiola – given his former relationship with Arteta.
Raheem Sterling to Guardian: “If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it… All I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought: maybe one day I’d love to play abroad and see how I would come up against that challenge”. 🔵🏴 #MCFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 14, 2021
The Spanish headmaster worked wonders with Sterling during his 3-years as assistant to Pep at City, and has been credited with considerably improving his game, especially in front of goal.
While Sterling is still just 26-years-old, he remains a few years ahead of the targeted age profile that Arsenal pushed for in the summer; the same age bracket that Lang (22) currently occupies.
Sterling vs Lang; what the players bring
Both players ideally provide goals from wide areas and love to tuck in to get involved in and around the 18-yard-box, but one of the difference makers by comparison between the pair is that Sterling is well settled in the Premier League, and on the cusp of entering his prime playing years.
Sterling could replace the outgoing Alexandre Lacazette and eventually Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as one of a handful of key senior players in what is a very young Arsenal squad.
His history working with Arteta is a massive plus-point, as is the attacker’s experience, but his tactical versatility is arguably Sterling’s greatest strength and certainly would come in handy given Arteta’s long-term desire to move to a 4-3-3 at the Emirates.
But to overlook Lang because of his age would be folly, and Arsenal’s summer recruits are all currently showing that age is but a number. That includes Sambi Lokonga (21), a former adversary of Lang’s when he lined out at the heart of the midfield for RSC Anderlecht.
Lang is a highly technical player who is an expert in a direct approach when on the ball. This ability to change the game when driving play was on full display against Paris Saint-Germain in Club Brugge’s impressive 1-1 draw against the Parisians.
The pair of wingers are both capable of hitting double figures in the goal column; a shortcoming that has plagued Arsenal from out wide in recent years. Neither Bukayo Saka nor Emile Smith Rowe have yet found their shooting boots for the club, while big-money signing Nicolas Pépé has yet to deliver the kind of return seen from the Ivorian during his time with LOSC Lille.
Lang hit 14-goals in 24-appearances in the league last season, while Sterling has a history of finding the back of the net at Manchester City, scoring 17-goals or more in the Premier League for three consecutive seasons from 2017-2020.
Arsenal will have to move quickly if they are to capture either of the pair, but both certainly have the capability to help the club push on in their budding project.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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