AC Milan forward Rafael Leao is on the radar of both Arsenal and Newcastle United.
After a slow start to life in Italy, Rafael Leao, 22, is presently enjoying his best time with AC Milan. He has already bagged 10 goals and six assists from 27 matches across all competitions for the Rossoneri, thereby, playing a pivotal role in the club’s charge for the Scudetto this term.
The Portuguese forward, who came through the youth ranks at Sporting Lisbon, has caught the attention of Wolves, Arsenal and Newcastle United with his exciting displays ahead of the summer’s transfer window. After three seasons with Milan, where he has a contract until 2024, Leao could be persuaded to leave the Italian giants and make the switch to England at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are certain to dip into the transfer market for attacking reinforcements. They released Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Barcelona on a free transfer in the January transfer window. That leaves Mikel Arteta with just two centre-forward options in Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Lacazette and Nketiah are both out of contract at the Emirates Stadium in June and would leave the club on a free transfer.
Rafael Leao would fit into Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal
Thus, Arsenal are set to prioritise making attacking additions to their squad in the summer and have set their sights on AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
Playing mostly as a left-winger for Stefano Pioli’s side, Leao portrayed his abilities in the attacking third of the pitch. The Portuguese international has combined very well with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Saelemaekers and Brahim Diaz in Milan’s attack and produced the goods.
The 22-year-old’s explosive pace, technical and finishing ability could see him evolve into a complete forward. Leao has 16 goal contributions this term so far having found himself in good goal scoring positions as a result of his movement and spatial awareness.
Mikel Arteta wants his Arsenal team to play with a lot of possession, aggression and intensity. His recruitment process has been sound, with the Gunners signing younger players rather than getting in a lot of ageing stars to facilitate the Spaniard’s possession-based, attacking style of football.
Signing Leao, in that regard, would be a step in the right direction due to his high-intensity playing style. Moreover, the ex-Lille man is versatile and has shown his qualities of leading the attack for Milan when required. This versatility would be welcome in any team, and certainty to Arteta’s Arsenal.
A potential deal for Rafael Leao could cost Arsenal a few million
Leao has a contract at San Siro until 2024, and going by his current form Milan are primed to have the upper hand in negotiations, especially if Arsenal are keen to land him. However, there is nothing wrong with splashing the cash for the three-cap Portuguese international. He is an investment for the future and shall be another exciting addition to the club’s pool of young guns.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.