Arsenal have reportedly identified Juventus outcast Paulo Dybala as a potential alternative for top target Martin Odegaard this summer.
According to Sport, Arsenal are among the clubs seeking an opportunity to sign Paulo Dybala. The Juventus attacker is expected to leave the club in the summer, with the Italian club “seeking a market opportunity”, according to vice-president Pavel Nedved. His current deal expires at the end of next season, meaning the forward might be available for a cut-price fee, thus putting Arsenal on red alert.
It is no secret that the Gunners on the prowl for a new playmaker in the summer. Their priority in the upcoming transfer window is to secure the services of Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal. Unfortunately, Real Madrid, it seems, are determined to retain the Norwegian, with the Spanish giants even valuing their star player at a reported fee of around €80 million.
In Dybala, therefore, Arsenal seem to have found a relatively cost-effective option as Mikel Arteta continues his search for a quality replacement for Mesut Ozil, who left the Emirates to join Fenerbahce in January.
Unfortunately for the north London giants, though, both Ozil and Dybala have faced a pretty similar fate over the past 12 months or so. They have struggled with fitness and injury problems before being ostracised by their respective teams. As such, the Argentine has featured in just over 600 minutes of league football so far, netting two goals.
Dybala’s fall from grace does raise question marks over his credibility, especially in the event of a potential move to Premier League, where he will have to deal with a more physically astute nature of play.
It is also fair to point out the stylistic differences between the Juventus star and Odegaard, with the latter being more of a natural number ten who can work his way around the final third and primarily operate as a ball-carrier. While Dybala does possess the same qualities, the varying degree of success in certain areas like ball-progression, link-up play and consistency make Odegaard a much better fit for Arsenal.
At the end of the day, it could be a huge gamble on Arsenal’s part to sign Dybala in this current financial climate and the Gunners should definitely prioritise a permanent move for Odegaard instead. They could try to meet Real Madrid’s demands by offloading some of their remaining fringe players including Matteo Guendouzi, who is likely to be sold in the summer, with Chelsea reportedly interested.
Even Calum Chambers and Alexandre Lacazette could both make their way out of the Emirates at the end of the season while Hector Bellerin was linked with a return to Barcelona earlier this year.
It is perhaps fair to consider Dybala as a more natural replacement for someone like Alexandre Lacazette rather than Odegaard, so it will be interesting to how things transpire at Arsenal in the upcoming summer transfer window.