Arsenal FC are interested in signing Belgium U-21 international Michy Batshuayi according to Standard Liege president Roland Duchatelet.
The 20-year-old striker started his youth career at Brussels and joined Standard Liege in 2008. After progressing through the youth ranks he was promoted to the first team squad in 2010-11 season, where he made only two appearances in the league. He would become a first team regular in the following season and scored nine goals, including a strike in the Europa League, in the 2011-12 campaign.
This is shaping up to be his most prolific season ever though. Batshuayi has already scored 12 goals in 17 appearances in the league. His prolific rise has seen him earn a place in the Belgium U-21 international side and he has already scored five goals in 11 appearances for them. Batshuayi is highly regarded in his country and considered to be among the best young talent from the Belgium production line in recent times. Barcelona have scouted him and were linked with a move for the forward, while clubs like PSV, Roma, Lazio and Hannover 96 are also monitoring his progress.
The newest club to join the race for his signature are Arsenal. The English club have made a flying start to their domestic and European campaign this season, but the league leaders have a thin forward line and are expected to sign a new striker in January. Wenger is keen to add a good back-up for Olivier Giroud, as injury or suspension to the French international could cost them dearly in the later part of the season.
Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo are the replacement available for Wenger in the present squad. While Sanogo has struggled with his fitness since joining the club in the summer, Bendtner is not the prolific striker that Arsenal needs in order to maintain their title challenge in the absence of Giroud. Arsenal have been linked with a lot of forwards in recent times, most notably with Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata. But signing a big name striker in January seems unlikely as big clubs usually refuse to sell players in this window. This might force Wenger for a more temporary solution, before investing in the summer. Reports suggest that Real Madrid are unwilling to let go of Alvaro Morata on a loan deal in January as they seem him as a vital member of the first team since the departure of Higuain at the start of this season. This will force Arsene Wenger to look elsewhere.
The Gunners have now been linked with the Michy Batshuayi and Standard Liege president Roland Duchatelet has revealed their interest in him.
“What is new is the interest of Arsenal in Michy, they’re one of the many clubs who follow our striker.
“We’re not willing to let Michy go this season.” – Duchatelet was quoted in press.
Batshuayi signed a contract extension four months back, which will now keep him at the club till 2018. This big contract, his recent form and the possibility of being included in the senior team ahead of the World Cup could push up his market value. Although Duchatelet has insisted that Batshuayi won’t be sold in January, a big offer from the Gunners could seal the deal. But Arsenal are sure to face competition from other interested clubs.