Arsenal and Tottenham set to do battle for Barcelona’s ‘new Messi’
It’s been a relatively quiet summer in North London so far, but as the window draws to a close, it appears local rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are set to battle it out for Barcelona wonderkid Munir El Haddadi, who is already being dubbed in Spain as the ‘new Messi’.
The 20-year-old had already been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer with both Everton and Stoke City previously showing interest in the forward, but it appears Munir has caught the eye of two bigger clubs in Arsenal and Spurs.
The Spanish forward has been heavily involved in Barcelona’s pre-season, taking Neymar’s place as the Brazilian competed in Rio, and he’s already opened his goalscoring account this year with a goal in the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla.
Spurs have added Vincent Janssen to their front line in the last few weeks and a deal for Marseille attacker Georges-Kevin Nkoudou looks increasing likely – so it may come as a surprise to some to see Munir linked with a move to White Hart Lane.
Meanwhile, Gunners fans have been crying out for a striker since the window opened, given that Danny Welbeck faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and Theo Walcott has struggled with consistency.
And Arsene Wenger’s decision to start Alexis Sanchez up front on his own in the opening two league games has only added fuel to this fire.
Wenger has a habit for doing business with Barcelona though – signing Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Sanchez from the Spanish giants – and this is something which may favour him in the battle for Munir’s signature.
In fact, Munir fits the mould of a typical Arsenal forward – he’s quick, he’s versatile, and – given his upbringing – he’s incredibly confident on the ball.
And although he’s already represented his hometown at senior level on 45 occasions, Munir is faced with the seemingly impossible task of dislodging the unstoppable trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi, and thus a move away would probably suit the Spanish international.
The fee Barcelona are asking for is rumoured to be around £12m – and for a player of Munir’s potential, that sounds like a price even Arsene Wenger would be comfortable departing with.
It’s not uncommon for Wenger to surprise us come deadline day, so strap yourselves in, Gunners fans, as your business this summer might not be over just yet.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.