Arsenal are interested in signing Boca Juniors defensive midfielder Ezequiel Fernandez, according to Bocanoticias.com.
The website claims that the Argentinian Under 23 international is being “followed by Arsenal”, along with Brighton, Girona, Sevilla and Benfica.
Boca are said to be mindful of the fact that there could be “possible offers” for Fernandez before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.
The 21-year-old is an old-fashioned enforcer in the Claude Makelele mould, breaking up play in the middle of the park.
Fernandez picked up 8 bookings and 2 red cards playing for Boca last season, so he is certainly not afraid of getting his hands dirty.
Why would Arsenal be interested in Fernandez?
With Declan Rice performing his duties as the no.6 extremely well, you do wonder whether the Gunners actually need a player like Fernandez.
However, it seems likely that Thomas Partey will be leaving the Emirates at the end of the season. His contract expires in less than 18 months’ time and there is no sign that his current deal will be extended. Whether Fernandez possesses the same qualities on the ball as the Ghanaian, though, it is up for debate.
Arsenal have been considering moves for other holding midfielders
The likes of Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Amadou Onana are also high on the club’s list of transfer targets but they do prefer to play higher up the pitch.
However, reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano has also claimed that the Gunners have considered making an approach for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha in recent weeks.
The fact that they have looked at the Portuguese international would suggest that manager Mikel Arteta is in the market for another no.6, which would make their interest in Fernandez more believable.
For now, it doesn’t appear as if Arsenal have made a serious attempt to sign the Argentine, but that may change when we get to the summer.