Arsenal are preparing to hold talks with the agent of a South American winger who’s ready to explode in Europe, and the move’s main driver is known for spotting Neymar and Coutinho before anyone else.
The Gunners and England were handed a major scare on Sunday. With Arsenal firmly in a title race and the World Cup less than three weeks away, hearts were in mouths when Bukayo Saka was forced off with a left leg injury.
Mikel Arteta allayed fears of a lengthy lay-off post-match, stating (via Football London): “Hopefully not [long lay-off]. It was a bad kick.
“Right from the beginning he was limping, but I don’t see any further than that. Let’s see how he is in the next couple of days.”
Arsenal thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0, with Reiss Nelson providing a timely reminder what he’s capable of when replacing Saka.
Nelson scored twice and assisted another and with Arsenal known to be hunting a new winger in the market, has given the club’s decision-makers something to think about.
Regardless, a new wide man is still expected to be signed. Indeed, they pushed hard to sign Raphinha last summer, though the Brazilian only had eyes for Barcelona.
Pedro Neto, Cody Gakpo and Mykhaylo Mudryk have all been linked. If Arsenal are to sustain their title charge post-Christmas, suitable strength in depth and fierce competition for places is a must.
Now, according to the Evening Standard, Arsenal have a new winger in their sights.
Arsenal turn to Uruguay flier
They report Orlando City’s Facundo Torres could be the subject of a January move to the Emirates. What’s more, it’s claimed ‘the Gunners are due to hold talks with the Uruguay international’s agent’ very shortly.
The 22-year-old plies his trade in MLS and enjoyed a sparkling first season in America.
He moved to Orlando from Uruguayan side Penarol last January. Penarol received around £7.75m, though that already looks a snip.
The left-footer – who can operate anywhere across the frontline – bagged 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions in his debut season Stateside. According to the report, the campaign may be his only one in America.
Arsenal are sizing up a January swoop to bolster their ranks out wide, and it’s claimed their interest stems from one man.
Arsenal appointed scout Toni Lima in 2021. Lima is known for his good eye in the South American market and is ‘credited with being one of the first to spot Neymar and Philippe Coutinho’.
Lima’s recommendation will be a big factor in whether Arsenal do act on their interest. Given the league Torres plays in and the fact he’s untested in Europe, it stands to reason he’d cost far less than the likes of Gakpo, Mudryk and Neto.
Torres has played and scored against Arsenal before. He featured in a pre-season friendly in the Florida Cup on July 20 and found the net when outmuscling a defender, cutting back inside to beat two players and firing inside the near post from outside the area.
Arsenal will hope to see more of that in the future, though for them, not against.