Benfica midfielder Eduardo Salvio marked his return to action by helping the Portuguese giants to a 1-0 success over Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar in their Europa League quarter-final first leg with the Argentine’s goal set to re-ignite talk of a move to the Premier League.
His 48th minute strike sealed a priceless away victory in Holland with The Eagles now 11/4 to lift the trophy in Turin and it’s an effort that could have even wider ramifications.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was reportedly keeping tabs on the 23-year-old last summer before a cruciate ligament injury and subsequent six-month lay-off scuppered any chances of a deal taking place.
Granted, Benfica’s prohibitive €40m release clause was another factor that may have deterred the frugal Wenger.
However, big-spending Manchester City were also said to be interested in the former Atletico Madrid player and they’re unlikely to be deterred by the costs involved with capturing his signature.
Returning to full fitness at the business end of the season, Salvio now has the perfect opportunity to showcase his talents and continue to impress potential suitors.
It won’t be easy to prise away a prized asset who cost Benfica a club record €13.5m before the start of the 2013-14 season.
But the lure of the Premier League and a large transfer fee may prove too hard to resist for both parties should Salvio continue to rediscover his best form.
Arsenal are priced at 9/5 to defeat Everton in their upcoming clash at Goodison Park while the Toffees are 7/5 to take all three points and close in on the Gunners’ Champions League spot with the draw on offer at 12/5.
Meanwhile, Manchester City can continue their title charge with a home win over Southampton at odds of 1/3, with a draw 4/1 and a shock success for the visitors 15/2 with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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