Arsenal are keeping tabs on Villarreal starlet Yeremi Pino as they aim to build for the future, according to reports in Spain.
After missing out on European football for the current season – for the first time in the 21st Century – Arsenal are trying to build towards a better future. Recent results have been promising, but their evolution is an ongoing process.
They know their squad still needs strengthening in the transfer market. However, they must get their approach right.
The strategy, as detailed in a report from Fichajes, remains to target “young talent”. With that in mind, someone on their radar is 19-year-old Yeremi.
A winger, he enjoyed a breakout season in 2020-21. Culminating in becoming a Europa League winner, his debut year in the first team saw him score seven goals from 36 appearances.
So far this season, he has cemented his importance to ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery. Pino has played 16 times in all competitions, contributing two goals and three assists.
Villarreal are now in the process of securing his long-term future. His contract is due to run until 2024, but they want to extend it further. Behind those plans is the fact that a number of other clubs are hovering.
According to Fichajes, Mikel Arteta has “asked” Arsenal to sign Pino for next summer. After following his progress, he has decided Yeremi would be a good successor to the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, who could leave in 2022.
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In fact, Fichajes believe Arsenal are already preparing an offer for Yeremi’s services. They may have to accelerate their own plans because Real Madrid are also keeping a close eye on Pino’s progress.
Villarreal will also be rushing through their own plans for Pino’s contract extension. He is described as an “indisputable starter” for Emery, so his importance to the Yellow Submarine is clear.
Arsenal not big enough for wing target
The news of interest in Pino follows a recent update about Arsenal’s pursuit of another winger.
The Gunners have been linked with Lorenzo Insigne, who is the captain of Napoli. His contract with the Serie A side expires at the end of the season.
So far, there has been little progress over a renewal. Therefore, he could become an opportunity for several clubs as a free agent.
Premier League sides would be able to negotiate with him from January onwards over a pre-contract agreement. Arsenal have been mentioned as one of his suitors – as have rivals Tottenham.
But both clubs recently saw their chances of signing him dashed due to their status in comparison to other admirers.
Corriere Dello Sport journalist Antonio Giordana told Radio Marte: “If I go away from Napoli, I do it only for a very high range, and Arsenal and Tottenham are not a part of it.
“Are we really sure that the right offer would come from these teams? Do you need Insigne?
“And are we sure that Lorenzo would get back into the game abroad, at 31, to learn a new language and be ‘Insigne among others’?”
However, Giordana did admit that Manchester United may be more tempting if they firm up their own interest in the Euro 2020 winner.
As for Arsenal, though, it seems they will have to look elsewhere – such as Pino.