Arsenal face the tough task of rebuilding their team this summer and after failing to qualify for the Champions League, the rebuild will be all that bit harder.
The Gunners will not be able to attract the elite players in Europe, or be able to pay huge transfer fees. Instead, they will have to take some risks in the market.
But some risks could end up reaping bigger rewards and a potential arrival that fits the bill is Yannick Carrasco (£1.12).
Carrasco shocked the footballing world when he left for China in February 2018.
Now there are reports that suggest the Belgium winger is ‘one step’ away from joining Arsenal.
Before joining China, the Belgian international had spent 3 years in Atletico, where he impressed some of the top European clubs, playing 108 games, making 2078 passes and completing 235 take-ons. He created 97 chances and scored 20 goals and made 11 assists during his spell in Spain.
Before joining Simeone’s men, Carrasco spent 5 years in Monaco. During that time many Arsenal fans will remember his crucial goal in the French club’s 3-1 away win vs. Arsenal to knock them out of the Champions League.
Despite such a busy career to date, he is still only 25 and so has his best years ahead of him. Arsenal have had interest in the player for quite some time and tried to loan him in January but his club would not allow a temporary switch.
Carrasco is capable of playing as a left wing-back but is best as a more advanced left winger. In the current Chinese season he has netted 7 times in 10 games.
“The negotiations are progressing very well,” said the Belgian player. “I am aware that I am a very important player in this team,” the player said of Dalian Yifang earlier this week.
“From a family and personal point of view, I would like to return to Europe,” he acknowledged.
Going back to the Premier would be a new challenge for Carrasco. “It’s a more physical game, but there are also many spaces to run”.
Arsenal seriously lacked wingers last season and Carrasco is a natural wide player with a combination of pace, flair and dribbling ability.
The concern for many will be that he has spent the last 18 months in China, a league not nearly as competitive as the Premier League. But his pricetag (around £24million) would reflect that.
As previously mentioned, Arsenal cannot buy players at their peak and they need to take risks. With the right management, Carrasco has the ability to become a leading Premier League player and with his age (25) and price in mind, it’s an opportunity that the Gunners cannot really afford to turn down.