Arsenal are now eyeing a move for Sandro Tonali after holding a meeting with his club, AC Milan, according to reports…
What’s the word?
Italian journalist Enrico Camelio told Calciomercato that the Serie A champions and the Gunners “met and talked about” the 22-year-old midfielder recently.
It’s thought that a €55m (£46.5m) offer would be enough for Milan to sell the Italy international this summer, despite him being a key part of Stefano Pioli’s plans.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is on the lookout for a new midfielder and it seems that Tonai has emerged as a potential target.
Should Arsenal sign Tonali?
Unlike last season, Arteta’s side kickstarted the new Premier League campaign with a victory, defeating Crystal Palace on Friday night.
The Spaniard has been well-backed in the market once again, with Edu Gaspar and his team bringing in five signings, all of which have surpassed the £110m mark.
But it appears that they aren’t finished yet and it’s easy to see why as outside of the main group, Arteta lacks substantial quality in depth and the engine room is one area of concern.
Behind the likes of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, there are limited options. Albert Sambi Lokonga, who arrived last year, is really the only backup, so Tonali could begin to solve this problem, if not improve it tenfold.
The young dynamo is a hugely impressive young talent and one that has the potential to usurp the Swiss maestro in the pecking order.
As per WhoScored, Tonali was Piol’s third-best performer in the Serie A in 2021/22. From a defensive midfield role, he provided five goals and two assists, and also averaged 1.2 key passes and one shot per game.
He was equally adept defensively too, managing 1.5 tackles and ranked inside the top 15% for number of dribbles tackled (44.4% total), when compared to other central midfielders in the Italian top-flight.
Xhaka, meanwhile, has always been a contentious figure in north London. There’s always an air of uncertainty whenever he’s named in the starting lineup as you just don’t know what Xhaka you’re going to get.
As Arteta’s 12th-best performer in the Premier League last season, the former club-captain has been lambasted as an “absolute liability” by talkSPORT pundit Dean Saunders, having racked up 69 yellow cards and five red cards across his 251 appearances.
Tonali could step up to dethrone the Switzerland international should he make the switch.
Once lauded as a “leader” by former Hungary head coach Marco Rossi and dubbed “extraordinary” by his ex-Brescia boss Eugenio Corini, it’s clear that at just 22, the Milan star has all the attributes to succeed at the Emirates Stadium.
His presence would not only add some much-needed depth but would also put some of the Gunners’ inconsistent performers on their toes. Therefore, Edu must follow up this meeting with a formal offer.
AND in other news, Edu could seal a “special” 6th Arsenal signing in £50m “genius”, he “wants to join”…