Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, according to reports in his native Norway.
Berge has been a key player for the Blades since they broke their transfer record to sign him from Genk in January. He has featured in every single one of their Premier League games since his arrival.
However, his side have struggled this season, and have not won any of their opening nine league matches. If Berge continues his personal rise, then his future could lie away from Bramall Lane.
Midfield has been one of the main areas Mikel Arteta has been looking to strengthen at the Emirates Stadium since he became Arsenal’s manager nearly one year ago.
It would seem Arteta was actually working from a long list of potential targets, of which Berge may have been one. The report says Arsenal were particularly keen on the 22-year-old before he joined Sheffield United.
In fact, VG add that the Gunners are still tracking the Norway international as he continues to stand out while his teammates do not. It is claimed that if Chris Wilder’s side are relegated, they would struggle to keep hold of the midfielder.
Wilder aware of Berge potential
Wilder also spoke to the Norwegian outlet, admitting that they may struggle to keep hold of Berge in the long-term.
“We understand that,” Wilder told VG. “The £20m we paid for Sander is not a big deal for a player like him.
“It felt great for us, because we have not been in that market for 25 years, but now it is nothing.
“Sander was a fantastic signing for us. We want him to grow with us, but we understand that the big clubs are interested when he performs so well. That means we, and Sander, are doing something right.
“People judged Sander when we signed him. They expected everything to happen immediately. There were some harsh opinions about him.
“People thought he would not be a success in the Premier League, but he has turned it upside down. Sander has been our best player this season.
“I just have to say it: Sander has been unique. He is the one who has stood out for us. He is a complete midfielder. He can play as an 8 and as 6. He can play in different formations.
“The wonderful thing about Sander is his attitude. He could say that he wants to play one place and no other, but he sees no disadvantage in being versatile. Complete midfielders are like that.
“Look at Jordan Henderson. Sander should gain enormous confidence that he can play so well in various positions in the Premier League.”