Arsenal Transfer News: Unai Emery Reportedly Keen on Rodrigo Bentancur

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JULY 06: Rodrigo Bentancur of Uruguay in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Uruguay and France at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
MB Media/Getty Images

Rodrigo Bentancur has reportedly piqued the interest of Arsenal head coach Unai Emery following his performances for Uruguay at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Italian source Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Alex Wood of the Daily Star Sunday) reported Emery is keen on the 21-year-old Juventus midfielder, who is also attracting the interest of Barcelona.

Wood has speculated Juve could sell as they attempt to recoup some of the money spent on Cristiano Ronaldo. The latter moved to Turin on Tuesday in a deal worth £105 million.

If Bentancur was offloaded to help begin balancing the books, Arsenal would make some sense as a potential destination. The former Boca Juniors ace has the composure in possession and eye for a pass to suit the stylish game the Gunners have played for much of the last two decades.

Bentancur has been making progress at Juventus.
Bentancur has been making progress at Juventus.Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Arsenal lost some of the guile and flair in the engine room when Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere left the club on free transfers this summer. Aaron Ramsey is also out of contract in 2019 and is yet to sign a new deal, even though Emery indicated he wants to build around the Welshman, per Sky Sports News.

Bentancur showcased some of his technical quality this summer in Russia, as he started every game for a Uruguay side eliminated in the last eight by eventual winners France. While he played every minute for La Celeste, Bentancur also contributed an assist.

He may have proved his worth at the highest level, but the Gunners can still afford to overlook Bentancur, especially since Emery has already worked extensively to retool the Arsenal midfield.

He signed Bentancur's international team-mate Lucas Torreira for around £26.5 million. The former Sampdoria star will bring more destructive qualities to the middle of the park:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Lucas Torreira: Has made more tackles and interceptions combined (356) than any other player since the start of the 2016/17 Serie A season For more player stats -- https://t.co/oYGEcqVfpH https://t.co/QSl7lQ9bFo

Torreira and Bentancur were both named in the Guardian's team of the best players under 23 at the World Cup, per Ed Aarons. Yet, they are unlikely to be playing on the same team at club level this season.

Emery also added Matteo Guendouzi from Ligue 1 side FC Lorient. The 19-year-old is a cultured passer from midfield who adds to the Gunners' numbers and potential at the position.

Guendouzi will join 20-year-olds Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide as burgeoning talents behind Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Ramsey, Mohamed Elneny and MesutOzil.

Guendouzi is one of two central midfielders Arsenal have signed already this summer.
Guendouzi is one of two central midfielders Arsenal have signed already this summer.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Emery recently hinted Arsenal are through signing players, with one proviso, per the London Evening Standard's Giuseppe Muro: "We signed the players who we needed and we will only sign a player in the next month if he is a big opportunity."

While Bentancur has talent, adding a player who started just nine matches for Juve last season to an already well-stocked position hardly qualifies as the type of "big opportunity" Emery spoke of.


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