Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on Maximilian Meyer and are plotting a Bosman summer move for the Schalke midfielder.
According to a report by German publication Bild, Arsenal are taking keen interest in Maximilian Meyer. The Gunners sent scouts to watch the Schalke midfielder in action last season as interest in him continues to increase, with his contract at Veltins-Arena set to expire in the summer.
Meyer has long been regarded as one of the most exciting young players in German football, having first broken into the first-team setup at Schalke at the nascent age of 16. Over the last five years, the player has progressed considerably, and is now a pivotal figure for Die Konigsblauen.
His development under current coach Domenico Tedesco, in particular, has been impressive and he is enjoying an extremely productive campaign with Schalke. And while he may have just one goal and an assist to show for his efforts, the 22-year-old is a vital component of the build-up play at Veltins-Arena.
However, there are concerns mounting over Meyer’s future at Schalke, with his contract set to run out at the end of the season. Die Konigsblauen are desperate to tie him down to a new deal, but talks haven’t progressed much, leading to interest from a gamut of clubs, including Arsenal.
Max Meyer: Only Daniel Baier (83) has won possession in the midfield third more times than Meyer (78) in the Bundesliga this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 31, 2018
The Gunners have monitored the player’s progress for a while now, having considered him as a possible long-term replacement for Mesut Ozil. But, with the German playmaker renewing terms at the Emirates, Arsenal could have possibly identified him as a solution elsewhere.
Santi Cazorla’s lengthy layoff from action due to a spate of long-term injuries has adversely affected Arsenal’s performance over the last two seasons. In the diminutive Spaniard’s absence, the Gunners have been unable to dominate battles in midfield, which has in turn, put a lot of pressure on their defence.
The same has been apparent this season as well, with Granit Xhaka unable to provide control at the centre of the park, and that is where Meyer could be valuable for Arsenal. The 22-year-old has been converted into a deep lying playmaker by Tedesco this season, which has seen the player evolve into a prospect similar to Cazorla.
In addition to his composure and creativity from midfield, he has also improved defensively, becoming a viable target for Arsenal. And with his contract set to expire soon, a free transfer to the North London club could just be in the offing.
But, Schalke are leaving no stones unturned in their bid to retain the services of the player, having tabled a new €5.5-a-year deal to him. It now remains to be seen if Meyer signs a new contract at Veltins-Arena or if Arsenal end up swooping another Schalke player for free, after Sead Kolasinac.