Arsenal are being heavily linked this week with a move for Wolfsburg’s highly-rated left back Ricardo Rodriguez, and despite rival teams also interested in the star, there are a few factors which may swing things the Gunners’ way.
The 23-year-old reportedly has a £19m release clause which Arsenal are willing to meet, and the Swiss defender conveniently shares a room on international duty with new Gunners recruit Granit Xhaka.
Speaking to Swiss paper Tages-Anzeiger, Rodriguez has been quoted saying that remaining at Wolfsburg is ‘not impossible but unrealistic’.
Furthermore, when quizzed on a potential link-up with Xhaka at club level, the defender said: “That would be exciting, yes, especially because the room arrangement at Arsenal would be fixed as well.”
Arsenal’s second trump card is that while Manchester United and Liverpool are also in the hunt for with the Switzerland international, neither can offer the Champions League football which comes with playing at the Emirates next term.
With Kieran Gibbs seemingly heading out of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is keen to bring in cover for Nacho Monreal, and being seven years Monreal’s junior, Rodriguez would offer the French boss that depth and longevity.
Given his much more attack-minded style of play, Rodriguez would provide Wenger a direct alternative to Monreal’s more traditional full-back role.
Comfortable at left-midfield, with pace to burn and a beastly cross, the Wolfsburg man contributed two goals and three assists last season from 24 Bundesliga games, and netted 10 times in all competitions in the 2014-15 campaign.
Rodriguez is set to feature for his country in this summer’s European Championships, and you can expect to find a host of scouts keeping a very close watch.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.