Arsenal remains keen to add further quality to the first team under boss Mikel Arteta this summer before the closing of the transfer window and is set to look to La Liga outfit Villarreal and club starlet Yéremy Pino as a prime candidate.
In reports from Football.London, Villarreal boss Unai Emery has seemingly admitted defeat as interest around Pino has grown not just from Arsenal but Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool as well, and has not ruled out the club cashing in on its brightest young talent.
Emery remarked on the situation in his pre-match press conference as Villarreal is set to clash with Real Valladolid this weekend, stating “If an offer arrives for players like Yéremy Pino, then he will have to leave. We have a responsibility with the club. It is what it is.”
That responsibility, not surprisingly, is referring to the financial situation that continues to put a strangle on most clubs in Spain, and given the sizable fee that Pino is sure to command, Villarreal undoubtedly will have to accept the loss of one of the brightest young stars in the country.
Pino bagged 6 goals and added 4 assists in La Liga last season in 31 appearances, and presents a player profile that would give the requisite tactical versatility that Arteta continues to seek with each possible transfer the club considers.
Capable of being deployed on either flank, Pino has already featured on 77 occasions in two years while in the senior setup at the La Liga outfit, which has included minutes in both the Champions League as well as the Europa League.
Despite his age, his experience at the highest level would put him in good stead to have an instant role in the first-team squad under Arteta, who is still in for a forward this summer with the future of Nicolas Pépé remaining in question despite his desire to try to reestablish himself in the squad’s hierarchy.
It has already been widely suggested that Pino would set Arsenal back somewhere between £34-£42m, which is considerably less than his reported £67m release clause.
With Liverpool possibly lurking in the wings for a late push for the Spanish youngster, the Gunners will have to move quickly if they are to get one over on last season’s Premier League runner-up and top-four rival in 2022-23.