Arsenal are reportedly considering making a move for Bayer Leverkusen youngster and Ecuador international Piero Hincapie.
The centre-back arrived in Europe in the summer of 2021 after putting pen to paper on a five-year deal with Leverkusen. The Bundesliga club splashed around £5.5million on Hincapie who left Argentine club CA Talleres.
Last season, the player made 27 appearances in the German league. He scored his first league goal during a 7-1 victory over Greuther Furth.
Hincapie started Friday’s big game with Bayern Munich on the bench. However, he was brought on at half-time with the team already 3-0 down. The Ecuador international helped to stop the rot in the second-half, though his side still suffered a 4-0 defeat.
That result has seen the Champions League contenders slip to 16th in the standings. Leverkusen have won just one of their eight league games this term, with manager Gerardo Seoane under increasing pressure.
Should Leverkusen’s poor form continue, a January move to the Premier League may seem a far more enticing proposition for the likes of Hincapie.
Arsenal are not the only club in the hunt
According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Arsenal are one of many clubs keeping their eyes on the centre-back.
Serie A giants AC Milan, Napoli and AS Roma are all said to be contemplating a move for the 20-year-old.
The report suggests that Leverkusen have valued the player at around £22million, but they’re not looking to part ways anytime soon.
The real question for the Gunners is whether the signing would make much sense, considering the team already has a number of defensive options.
Mikel Arteta’s centre-back options consist of Gabriel and William Saliba. To add to his ammunition, the Gunners also boast Ben White and Rob Holding in reserve.
With that in mind, a possible January move for Hincapie would raise eyebrows, considering there are other positions Arsenal could do with strengthening.
Chance to shine at the World Cup
Hincapie will have an opportunity to make a name for himself at the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The 20-year-old has already made 21 appearances for Ecuador. Many of those outings came in the qualifying campaign as La Tricolor booked their spot in their first World Cup since 2014.
Ecuador will be involved in the very first game of the tournament as they take on Qatar in Al Khor.
While Leverkusen may be struggling, Hincapie is expected to be part of the squad which travels to the Middle East in November.
Ecuador will also take on Senegal and the Netherlands in their group. Gustavo Alfaro’s side will be looking to progress past the group stage for the first time since 2006.