As action returns in the UK on the 17th this month, there’s a lot going on for fans that are following up with the latest Premier League news. The transfer window is open, and as a result, we’re finally seeing some activity on the football scene.
Back in February, it was reported that Arsenal were to bid £15m for Brentford’s in-demand winger Said Benrahama. However, with his price rocketing following some eye-catching performances in the Championship, is Mikel Arteta still interested? According to some rumours he is, but with the likes of Chelsea, Leicester, and West Ham all showing interest in the Algerian national, it won’t be a straightforward deal.
Benrahma has been a stand-out performer for the Bees in the Championship since joining from Nice in 2018. He registered 14 assists in his first campaign, the highest in the league, making his £1.5m price tag look minuscule. His second season has arguably been even more impressive with 10 league goals and seven assists to his name. His creative spark has helped Brentford push for promotion this season with the bees as short as 6/1 (2.2) with bookies to seal promotion.
Benrahma’s technical ability means he is always a danger, and it’s no surprise his stock has risen. He is just the type of player that Arteta would love to bring in and even at the inflated price of £35m, could be a decent bit of value. Arsenal would benefit from a player of his ability because of his vision and pace. He fits the mold under Arteta, and he would be considered a very decent signing by most.
So, what could get in the way? Plenty! Chelsea were said to be interested in the 24-year-old and could certainly afford him. In saying that, Frank Lampard seems to have made his targets clear. Timo Werner looks to be on his way to Stamford Bridge along with Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech. Therefore, a similar player may no longer be required.
West Ham have upped their interest in the Championship player, but if Brentford win promotion it’s difficult to see the player making the move. The Hammers are in a bit of bother this season and Premier League football is certainly not guaranteed next season.
Other candidates for scooping up the winger are Newcastle United and Leicester City. Both of these offer a slightly more interesting angle. The Magpies are expecting their takeover to be completed which would give the incoming manager for next season a huge budget. With such a big-money takeover, however, a more known name may be suited. As for Leicester, they have the funds and a midfielder of Benrahma’s sort would fit the bill at the King Power. The Foxes are likely the biggest competition for Arsenal for this transfer.
Of course, it’s not just what other teams are interested, but what else could Arteta have up his sleeve. He has made no secret of targeting Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey. The 26-year-old Ghanaian has been in inspired form for Diego Simeone’s side this season and the Spanish outfit are keen to hold on to their man. With a release clause of less than £45m, Partey is perhaps the better option, as the more complete player at the top level than Benrahma. According to reports, however, Atletico are going all out to keep Partey, offering to double his current salary of €65k to a whopping €130k a week.
Facundo Pellistri is another player that Arsenal are reportedly keen on. The Uruguayan teenager has been attracting attention from all of Europe with Juventus and Real Madrid also having made enquires.
He currently plays his trade in his native Uruguay his quick feet have drawn comparisons with Argentinian International Paulo Dybala. Because of this, he has a decent price tag of around £12m, but at only 18-years-old, he could prove worth it.
Benrahma remains a player of interest for Arsenal, but time will tell if they are prepared to splash the cash for the playmaker.