Arsenal have identified Real Sociedad forward Mikel Oyarzabal as their desired alternative for Emiliano Buendia.
Arsenal have moved on quickly from the disappointment of missing out on Emiliano Buendia, immediately setting their sights on Mikel Oyarzabal, reports El Gol Digital. The interest comes as a shocker for Real Sociedad who were confident of keeping their star attacker following a successful campaign in Laliga.
Sociedad are keen on holding on to Oyarzabal but might be forced to consider a potential sale if any good offer comes across, given that they do require transfer revenue after an awful financial year.
A product of the Real Sociedad youth academy, Mikel Oyarzabal has enjoyed stellar success ever since making his breakthrough during the 2015/16 campaign. The 24-year-old has already notched up as many as 239 competitive appearances for La Real, scoring 64 goals and registering 45 assists.
Much of Oyarzabal’s success has come in recent years, though, with the winger becoming the focal point of the Sociedad attack. For instance, the Spaniard was involved in 19 league goals in 33 goals this season, helping his club finish in the top. It also earned him a place in the Spain squad, for the upcoming European Championship.
Arsenal’s interest in the 24-year-old stems from their failure in the pursuit of Emiliano Buendia. The Norwich City star has recently snubbed the Gunners in favour of a switch to Aston Villa, leaving Mikel Arteta even more desperate for a new playmaker in the market.
The club’s prime target is Martin Odegaard, who is set to return to Santiago Bernabeu following the end of his loan spell. Although Arteta is keen on permanently acquiring his services, Real Madrid’s reported €60 million valuation might turn out to be too expensive for the north London giants.
The report, though, suggests that Arsenal are ready to pay a fortune to acquire the signature of Mikel Oyarzabal, suggesting the Gunners might be preparing themselves for multiple departures in the summer. Matteo Guendouzi, for one, has already been linked with a permanent move to Marseille.
Additionally, Granit Xhaka has become a subject of interest for AS Roma’s newly appointed head coach Jose Mourinho. It speaks a lot about Arteta’s desire to bring out a complete squad overhaul in the summer, further evidenced by the club’s recent approach to Wolves for Ruben Neves.
As for Oyarzabal, Arsenal are unlikely to want to sign him over Odegaard, especially when they would both set back Arsenal a similar amount financially. The Norwegian has already proved himself in the Premier League, while also voicing his desire to play for the team once again.
That said, it will be interesting to see whether Oyarzabal makes an impact in UEFA Euro 2020, one that could seriously tilt the situation in his favour, as far as a move to Emirates is concerned.