Arsenal keen on Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia
However, it will take a massive transfer fee to land either Rice or Caicedo, so Lavia could be seen as a relatively cheaper option by the Gunners hierarchy.
The Belgian youngster joined Southampton from Manchester City and has impressed heavily. The 19-year-old is arguably one of the Saints’ best performers this season.
City can’t activate their £40 million buy-back clause until the summer of 2024, which gives Chelsea or Arsenal an edge in the transfer race. Southampton, the bottom-placed side in the Premier League, are almost certain to go down, and Lavia could be available at a decent price in the summer.
Fabrizio Romano previously suggested that the Saints could demand a fee in the region of £50 million for the young midfielder.
Lavia is a terrific talent. The defensive midfielder averages 2.1 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game. He also manages 86.4% passing accuracy and is capable of delivering long balls.
Arsenal have a proven track record of plucking young talents and nurturing them into established stars, and Mikel Arteta can do the same with Lavia, but the Gunners should pass down the opportunity to sign him.
At the moment, the squad is in need of established central midfielders who have got strong leadership abilities. Lavia would be a smart long-term addition, no doubt, but he is unlikely to make a huge difference to the side.
Obviously, if the Gunners are looking to spend around £150m on two players, then it makes a lot of sense to move for either Rice or Caicedo and Lavia. While a move to Chelsea or Arsenal would attract him, the midfielder must join a club that can offer him regular game-time and it remains to be seen whether that would be the case at the Emirates or Stamford Bridge.
/ 39 mins ago
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