Arsenal have made a breakthrough in their attempts to seal a third signing this January transfer window…
What’s the word?
According to Football Insider, the Gunners are in ‘pole position’ to sign Real Valladolid CF defender Ivan Fresneda in a £13m deal that would see the 18-year-old return to the LaLiga side on loan after holding positive talks.
Emirates chief Edu Gaspar has already secured two moves this month, signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton and Hove Albion for £27m, as well as landing Jakub Kiwior in a £21m switch from Serie A outfit Spezia.
Another Edu masterclass
Whilst the north London giants will not reap the rewards of winning the race for the coveted teen’s signature this season, the long-term benefits will shine through one day, making it another likely masterstroke from the Brazilian sporting director.
Fresneda is a hugely promising talent, having initially come through the Real Madrid academy system before making his bow in LaLiga for the Blanquivioletas this campaign.
The Spain U19 international has gone onto play 12 times across the league and Copa del Rey, leading to Arsenal’s interest as the 6-foot dynamo’s average of 3.39 tackles (top 2%), 3.16 clearances (top 4%) and 1.52 interceptions (top 10%) per 90, which ranks among the elite in his role across Europe, via FBref.
Not to mention his “beastly ability” to deliver crosses from the flank, as once suggested by journalist Juan Arroita.
Indeed, Spanish football expert Matt Clark handed ChronicleLive a glowing endorsement of the 18-year-old gem earlier this month, claiming:
“Iván Fresneda has been one of the revelations of the season so far in LaLiga, standing out for newly-promoted Real Valladolid. He is a remarkably complete right-back despite his young age, balancing his defensive duties with the odd attack too.
“He has that coveted combination of physicality and technical ability. Tall but agile, quick and athletic, he is also strong in the tackle and reads the game very well for someone so green when it comes to first-team football.”
You could argue that the right-back position is still something of a problem, with central defender Benjamin White, 25, often finding himself deployed there over Takehiro Tomiyasu, 24, and neither may emerge as the true long-term candidate for the Gunners.
Fresneda – a “very special talent” in the eyes of ESPN UK editor David Cartlidge – could well be that man, so if Edu is to secure his signature after this major update, then he’s going to be onto a winner once again.
Few of his signings over the past 12 to 18 months have failed to pay off, so he ought to be trusted in his quest to sign the teenage sensation.