Arteta denies interest in ‘unique’ midfielder pulling up trees in Premier League

Date published: Wednesday 25th November 2020 7:37 - Matthew Briggs

Mikel Arteta TEAMtalk

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dismissed any interest in Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge.

Norwegian outlet VG reported earlier this week that Arsenal were looking to rekindle their interest in the 22-year-old.

The Gunners were believed to be one of several clubs interested in the Berge last January.

Berge though eventually joined Sheffield United in a deal worth in excess of £20m to become their record signing.

Berge took his time to settle in at Bramall Lane last season, but this term he has been a shining light for the Blades in a disappointing start.

Chris Wilder’s men have yet to register a victory, but Berge has been impressing despite their winless start.

VG claimed the Gunners are still tracking the Norway international. It is claimed that if Wilder’s side are relegated, they would struggle to keep hold of the midfielder.

Arteta’s assistant manager at Arsenal, Albert Stuivenberg, coached Berge when he was in charge at Belgian club Genk in 2017.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash trip to Molde, Arteta said: “Albert knows him very well. It is a player that he likes.

“But we have not showed any interest for the player. He is a Sheffield United player. We have not done anything at all.”

Wilder aware of Berge potential

Hakim Ziyech, Sander Berge

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.


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“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.”

READ MORESander Berge opens up on ‘challenging’ Sheff Utd tactics

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