Could this Bundesliga midfielder be Arsenal’s most important signing of the Summer?

The signing of Alexandre Lacazette will have restored some faith in Arsenal’s transfer plans for this summer while also dispelling the myth, that you can’t attract top players without the lure of Champions League football.

There is, however, the fear amongst Arsenal supporters that the former Lyon frontman will merely prove to be a straight replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who continues to be linked with a move away from the club. The spending has to continue and while a second striker will be needed if Sanchez does depart, fresh links indicate a confirmed bid for 19-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Aymen Barkok.

Breakthrough campaign

The German under-19 international only made his professional debut for the Frankfurt as recently as November 2016, but it proved to be an impressive campaign for the teenager. He finished 2016/17 with 18 appearances in the Bundesliga, scoring twice and providing two assists, while that return may seem modest, the midfielder came off the subs’ bench on no fewer than 12 occasions.

While the attacking options may have some way to go before they are finalised, central midfield is also a problem area for the Gunners – is Barkok ready to make what would be an undoubted step up at this early stage in his career?

A positive move?

The attraction of playing for Arsenal may be more obvious to a player at Barkok’s stage in his career. Current employers Eintracht Frankfurt finished last season in a lowly 11th position; there is no European football in 2017/18 and only an outside hope of the club finishing in the Europa League places next time around.

Prospects look bleak for Niko Kovac’s side and in fact, Eintracht are sixth-favourites at 9/2 in the current Bundesliga betting markets to be relegated at the end of 2017/18. For a player with as much promise as Aymen Barkok, a move away from the Commerzbank Arena may, therefore, be a logical step.



While no Arsenal fan wants to look across North London and identify a pattern for success, Tottenham’s surge over the last two seasons has been built to a certain extent around combative midfielders such as Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele. That’s certainly an area where the Gunners have been lacking in recent years and that’s why Barkok could get a regular starting place in the side despite his tender age and relative lack of experience playing in the top divisions.

One issue could be the length of the player’s contract, which runs until 2020 and that’s why the quoted transfer fee of £10m may seem like an inflated one. However, in the current market, it could yet prove to be a bargain and with Arsenal set to cash in elsewhere, even if it’s not on Sanchez, funds for this key area will not prove to be an issue.

Clearly, there is some way to go before this deal gets close to being finalised. With links elsewhere to Thomas Lemar and the fact that rumours surrounding a deal for Kylian Mbappe haven’t gone away just yet, the story has also gone under the radar to an extent but if it lands, this is a potential transfer that could prove just as important as that of Lacazette.

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