Reports in Spain claim Manchester United and Arsenal have joined the lengthy list of clubs keen on Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz.
The 18-year-old has been turning heads with his displays in the early part of the season. He has scored two goals and assisted three more from just three Bundesliga appearances. Unsurprisingly, a number of Europe’s big-hitters have started to show an interest.
German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been linked, along with the English duo, according to Todo Fichajes. After spending 10 years in the Cologne youth setup, Wirtz signed for Leverkusen in January 2020.
The attacking midfielder was handed his senior debut in May last year. He became Leverkusen’s youngest player to debut in the league, at the age of 17 years and 15 days.
The youngster enjoyed three starts among seven league outings that season. And he saw plenty of action in 2020-2021 with 29 top-flight appearances and 25 starts, scoring five times.
The talented schemer also enjoyed seven outings in the Europa League and found the net on a couple of occasions. Manager Gerardo Seoane has placed his trust in the teenager this term and it has paid off to date.
Leverkusen sit sixth in the Bundesliga standings, with seven points from four games played. They open their Europa League account at home to Hungarian side Ferencvarosi on Thursday.
Many more clubs expected to join Wirtz race
United and Arsenal are no strangers to signing young players. Wirtz could be the next to move to the Premier League although the battle for Erling Haaland will re-start next summer.
The Borussia Dortmund ace cannot stop scoring goals and already has eight this season. It remains to be seen if BVB cash in but his price is already sky high.
Wirtz would be a much cheaper option but another year of senior football will add many euros to his price tag. United seem well stocked in midfield, with Jadon Sancho now on board and still only 21.
Wirtz would be only a peripheral player at Old Trafford and that might hinder his development. A switch to the Theatre of Dreams appears unlikely but the Gunners are in a different situation.
Still looking for an identity in the post Arsene Wenger era, Mikel Arteta has brought in several new faces. It has yet to reap any real benefits although they did pick up the first win of the season at the weekend.
It is still very much a work in progress and the addition of an exciting youngster could give them a much-needed boost.