Premier League • England

Shock Arsenal return suggested for Serie A winner Ismael Bennacer amid €40m claim

Ismael Bennacer celebrating with AC Milan

Arsenal would be willing to make a bid to AC Milan to take back Ismael Bennacer, according to an Italian report.

It may be easy to forget that Bennacer once played for Arsenal. He was on their books between 2015 and 2017, but never made a Premier League debut. Instead, his sole outing was in the League Cup in 2015.

Since then, the Algeria international has thrived in Italy after being sold in 2017. He impressed over two seasons with Empoli – one in Serie B and one in Serie A – before earning a move to AC Milan in 2019.

He has coped well with the step up back to a big club. Bennacer played 31 times in the league last season as Milan won Serie A.

They are now hoping to build to ensure they can make their success stable. However, some of their players are facing exit rumours.

Franck Kessie has already left on a free transfer to Barcelona. In the shape of Bennacer, Milan could be at risk of losing a second central midfielder.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb, Bennacer has ended up back on the radar of his former employers at the Emirates Stadium.

In fact, the report claims Arsenal would be willing to offer €40m (£33.9m) to make the 24-year-old their own again. For now, it does not appear they have actually lodged a bid, though.

Bennacer is under contract at San Siro until 2024. Milan would not want to lose him, but would likely have to look into a renewal over the next year or so to alleviate any fears of losing him.

Hence, there may be a window of opportunity if Arsenal genuinely want Bennacer back.

They were already looking into the addition of a midfielder in January, when they tried to take Arthur from Juventus. Seven months down the line, perhaps a solution could come from elsewhere in Serie A.

Bennacer better equipped for Arsenal success now

Five years since he left the club, Bennacer has become a much more capable player who would have a decent chance of performing well for Arsenal.

His experiences in Italy have equipped him well for a potential Premier League return. That said, the word potential must be emphasised here.

Bennacer is already playing at a good level with Milan, who have Champions League football on offer next season – unlike Arsenal.

Hence, there remains a good chance he would want to stay in Italy. But at some point in the future, perhaps a Premier League return would be feasible.

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