Empoli midfielder Ismael Bennacer could return to North London, with Arsenal reportedly having a buy-back clause to sign him back.
Arsenal’s summer business could begin as soon as possible, with the club already making plans for new recruits. The Mirror are reporting that Arsenal might dip into the Serie A once more to possibly sign Empoli midfielder, Ismael Bennacer. The midfielder was once in the ranks at Arsenal, who sold the young star to Empoli.
Bennacer’s Arsenal career was filled with early promise, although the Algerian only made one senior appearance for the North Londoners in a cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday. He was then sold to Empoli for €1 million and has since gone on to star for the Italian side. This season, he has made 31 appearances for the Serie A outfit, thus becoming a formidable member of their campaign.
He did have his work cut out, helping Empoli gain promotion from Serie B, and this season with four assists to his name, his contributions have been notable considering he plays in a defensive midfield role. His performances have attracted the attention of several sides, including second-placed Napoli, who are set to make an offer in the summer window.
As for interest from the Premier League, Arsenal are reportedly interested in bringing him back to the Emirates. The Gunners have a buyback option inserted in the agreement with Empoli, meaning any sale of the player will give Arsenal the first right to exercise their option. It has been reported that they might consider triggering that option and make a move for the Algerian.
The prospect of signing for Napoli might also entice Bennacer, who might want to feature for a side playing in the Champions League. Napoli are certainly one of those sides, with Carlo Ancelotti’s team sitting second on the Serie A table. Arsenal might also be able to offer him the same if they win the Europa League or qualify by finishing in the top four come the end of the season.
If Arsenal are to make a move for their former player, then it will be in consecutive seasons that the club have dipped into the Italian league for a holding midfielder, after signing Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria last summer. The Gunners also signed Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient in France, and by landing Bennacer, they might be building on a young future squad of midfielders.
As for Napoli and Arsenal, Bennacer could prove to be a shrewd signing. He might not cost the world, although he sure will not come very cheap. His performances have been fantastic over the last two seasons and seeing him taking on the pressure well, both clubs might find it worthwhile to invest in the talent of the player who is only 21 currently and has a bright future ahead of him.