Arsenal are preparing to try again in their bid to sign Joelson Fernandes after having their £18 million offer turned down by Sporting CP.
According to A Bola, as relayed by the Express, Arsenal are not ready to give up on their pursuit of Joelson Fernandes just yet. The Gunners reportedly had their £18 million bid for the youngster just turned down by Sporting CP earlier this summer.
However, they are prepared to try again by once again sending out representatives to Lisbon this week. Joelson apparently has a release clause of £40 million. But, Arsenal are looking to test Sporting’s financial mettle, especially after the Coronavirus crisis by offering bids well below that amount.
Arsenal’s decision to continue their pursuit of Joelson comes just days after their FA Cup triumph that has not only handed the club their first title under Mikel Arteta but has also helped them secure Europa League football next season. Additionally, qualifying for Europe has also seen the north London giants pocket an additional £30 million.
It could go a long way in helping Arsenal undergo a squad overhaul in the summer, with manager Arteta reportedly looking to offload a whopping nine players. The potential list includes Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose loan move at AS Roma could be permanent this summer. And one would think Joelson could be identified as a perfect replacement for the Armenian international.
As a matter of fact, Arsenal were reportedly considering meeting Joelson’s staggering release clause last month, which speaks volumes of the player’s individual quality.
Regarded as the “next Cristiano Ronaldo”, the youngster has already made waves in the Portuguese youth football scenes and is tipped to receive a more prominent role in the first-team at Sporting next season. In fact, he has already featured in four Liga Nos matches for the Portuguese giants this past season.
Comparisons with the mercurial Ronaldo are already enough to suggest that Joelson in a dynamic winger, who likes to take on defenders and is often keen on testing the opposing goalkeepers. The 17-year-old primarily likes to operate at left-wing, meaning he can be considered as a potential alternative to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
If needed, Joelson can also feature in a more central role, which makes him quite similar to Arsenal’s emerging talent, Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian has struggled with injuries this year but youthful exuberance of players like him, Joelson as well as Eddie Nketiah could add some much-needed bite into the Arsenal attack as the Gunners look to integrate themselves to a new style of play under Arteta.
However, it is needless to point out that Joelson is also a risky target for Arsenal given his lack of experience in a higher level. And with the Gunners being in desperate need of defensive and midfield reinforcements, they must set the right priorities in this summer transfer window.