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Arsenal ‘interested’ in Julian Brandt

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Arsenal aren’t short of playmakers in the first-team with Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe to choose from, but one is having a significantly better season than the other and looks to have a future at the Emirates Stadium.

Odegaard has scored nine goals with seven assists from 32 games across the board this campaign while Smith Rowe has made nine appearances without a goal or assist.

The 22-year-old has been short of form, fitness and playing time under Mikel Arteta this season and Christian Falk believes he might be upgraded with Julian Brandt this summer as a result.

He wrote in his Caught Offside column: “The Gunners are also interested in Dortmund’s Julian Brandt. The club has yet to make a final decision on that front.”

The 26-year-old joined Dortmund from Bayer Leverkusen in 2019 and has gone on to make 159 appearances in all competitions, scoring 29 goals with 30 assists. Brandt has also made 39 appearances for the German national team, contributing six goals and assists.

This season, Brandt has made 32 appearances across the board, scoring nine goals with five assists, so he’d certainly improve the Arsenal side. And with a market value of €28m (£24.8m), the 26-year-old wouldn’t break the bank.

Time will tell if they make a move, however, as Falk intimated that they’re undecided on which transfer targets are worth signing this summer. Brandt, who’s scored 17 goals and made 12 assists from his last 52 Bundesliga games, would certainly be an improvement on Smith Rowe, and his deal is up in 2024, so Arsenal might have some luck procuring his signature.

Per Sport1 last month, Dortmund want to tie the German playmaker down to a new deal as reward for his upturn in form, but they may have to cash in early if an extension can’t be agreed. The Bundesliga giants won’t want to lose Brandt on a free transfer in 2024, so Arsenal might be able to land him for cheap this summer.

Smith Rowe has three-and-a-half years remaining on his deal at the Emirates, but he’s endured an underwhelming and injury-laded campaign that won’t aid his chances of getting playing time in 2023.

Arteta needs a deep squad to challenge on all fronts next season, so Brandt would be one of many players on the transfer wishlist. The Gunners could do with another wide-man and a striker too.

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