Friday, December 8, 2023

The Villarreal £30m star shining in Spain linked with Arsenal transfer

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Arsenal have been linked with a move for Villarreal star Alex Baena with Mikel Arteta still keen on bringing in a new winger.

The Gunners have been linked with numerous attackers in the past few months including the likes of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Pedro Neto, and Baena’s Villarreal teammate Yeremy Pino. The 21-year-old is now the latest player to be tipped to make the move to north London after technical director Edu was unable to fulfil Arteta’s demands of a new midfielder and forward before deadline day.

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has openly admitted that should bids arrive for his star players then he will have little resistance considering the La Liga outfit’s poor financial situation. Baena has scored three goals in six appearances so far this season and is now attracting suitors from the Premier League including the Gunners, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Alejandro “Alex” Baena is a Spanish forward playing for Villarreal in La Liga. Baena has featured for Spain at youth levels up to under-21 and predominantly plays as a left winger.

At just 21-years-old, Baena broke into the Villarreal first team back in 2020 and impressed for Girona last term as he played a crucial role in helping the Spanish outfit gain promotion into La Liga.

What would he bring to Arsenal?

Baena would be a brilliant addition to Arteta’s squad and fits into Arsenal’s profile of being a young talent with plenty of first team experience, with potential to develop into an even better player. The 21-year-old has exceptional dribbling and ball control allowing him to take on opposition players and create chances for his teammates.

Baena isn’t the quickest of players but is no slouch either, whilst his sprint speed isn’t the best his acceleration allows him to quickly zip past defenders and create space for himself to use his excellent range of passing or have a shot on goal. The Spain under-21 star shows similar qualities to that of Philippe Coutinho with his quick feet, long-range shooting and passing ability.

During his loan spell with Girona, Baena scored five goals and provided a further seven assists in 45 appearances. This season, the 21-year-old has already scored two goals from outside of the box, the same number of goals Arsenal have from the same distance.

This highlights the Gunners’ brilliant goalscoring ability inside the penalty box, but they are lacking a threat from distance for when teams sit back in a tight, low-block. Baena has a release clause of just £30million which would be a bargain for such a talented player that has an amazing potential.

What has been said?

Alex Baena is yet to speak out on transfer rumours linking him with a move away from Villarreal, though it’s expected Unai Emery will be reluctant to lose one his brightest talents after an impressive season last term.

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