Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are interested in signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio in the summer transfer window, according to reports.
THE LOWDOWN: IN DEMAND
Milinkovic-Savic appears to be a man in demand once again this summer after another starring campaign in Serie A. The central midfielder contributed to 23 league goals in 37 games, with rumours claiming Manchester United tabled a £55m offer for the Serbian talisman.
Arsenal wish to boost the quality in their midfield this summer, and have reportedly linked with a number of playmakers such as the likes of Youri Tielemans, Fabian Ruiz and Ruben Neves in recent months.
The 27-year-old’s agent, Mateja Kezman, believes the Lazio star has ‘better quality than Pogba’, and a further update has now emerged on the Serbia international’s future.
THE LATEST: IN THE MIX
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, both Arsenal and Newcastle United are in the mix to try and sign the Lazio midfielder.
The report claims that his agent is actively working towards a solution which could see him sign a new deal in Italy, or attract a bid of over £55m from one of the English clubs mentioned.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Lazio president Claudio Lotito wants as much as €65 million (£55.51m) for the 27-year-old.
The Gunners are willing to pay €50m (£42.70m) for the 27-year-old Serbia international midfielder and could even be ready to bid €60m (£51.24m) for Milinkovic-Savic, according to the report.
THE VERDICT: ASTONISHINGLY GIFTED
Milinkovic-Savic has long been touted as one of the best all-round midfielders in Europe. Described by 90Min as an ‘astonishingly gifted’ midfielder who can get box to box, the Lazio ace does tick boxes for the Gunners.
By securing a deal to sign the gem in the coming months, KSE can land an instant masterclass that will surely excite the Gunners faithful.
The midfielder would be a sensational signing who would represent a real coup for the club, acquiring a player with top level experience, huge ceiling, and a playing style that could propel Mikel Arteta’s style at the Emirates to new heights.
Milinkovic-Savic’s form in Italy suggests that he would be an incredible addition to the team as he has shown that he can deliver to a high level on a consistent basis.
The Serbian managed eight goals and nine assists in the previous league season and this shows that he has proven his quality in the final third. Also, as per FBRef, he ranks in the top 3% of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues for non-penalty goals per 90 (0.28), top 2% for shots total per 90 (2.22), top 4% for assists per 90 (0.28), the top 7% for expected assists (xA) (0.18) and the top 10% for shot-creating actions per 90 (3.16) highlighting his incredible efficiency, decisiveness and huge levels of influence in the attacking third.
Parma’s sporting director Demetrio Albertini previously hailed the Lazio star, saying: “Milinković-Savić has the characteristics of a great champion; he has extraordinary elegance.”
These comments suggest that he also has the mentality to make it at the top level, as a high-ranking Italian chief believes that he has a champion’s mindset. Arsenal would be bringing in a winner who has proven his quality in a major European league.
Therefore, KSE will be pulling off a blinder by sealing a deal for the midfielder this summer and must now ensure that he can win the race for Milinkovic-Savic’s signature.