Arsenal have their own 'Xavi and Iniesta' lined up with Edu convinced on £13m January move


Arsenal are reportedly lining up a move for their own 'Xavi and Andres Iniesta'. Gunners sporting director Edu is said to be 'convinced' over the signing of young Belgian midfielder Arthur Vermeeren who has been likened to the legendary Barcelona duo.

Arsenal are well-placed in the Premier League 10 matches into the season. They have also won two of their first three Champions League group stage matches upon a return to Europe's elite club competition.

But Mikel Arteta has promised to use each transfer window to its maximum and that will be no different in January. Arsenal are keen on signing a striker, with Brentford's Ivan Toney their No 1 target.

However, regular concerns over Thomas Partey's fitness mean midfield is also an area that needs strengthening. And Veremeeren could be the next player through the doors to help in that regard.

Spanish outlet Sport claims Arsenal could push through with their interest in the 18-year-old as early as January. Barcelona are also keen on the player but are aware he could move to the Emirates in the winter.

Sport says Arsenal have taken a step forward in their pursuit of the player. Despite his young age, Gunners chiefs are said to be convinced that he will be able to adapt to their team and a new league.

Royal Antwerp values Vermeeren at around £13million and he has already made 53 senior appearances despite not turning 19 until next February. He has started every league match so far this season as well as each of Antwerp's three Champions League outings.

Former Arsenal and Barca winger Marc Overmars is the director of football at Antwerp. He is clearly a big fan of Vermeeren having recently compared him to Xavi and Iniesta.

Overmars said: "I do not have doubts that Vermeeren can play [for] Barca. Like Xavi and Iniesta… Vermeeren [has] the same profile."

Vermeeren is also now a full Belgium international having come off the bench in the Euro 2024 qualifying win over Austria last month. The teenager has one goal and four assists to his name so far this season in 15 appearances for Antwerp.

He has often played in defensive midfield but has also been used as a No 8 this term. Declan Rice has rotated between both positions since his summer arrival and Vermeeren would provide Arteta with an alternative option in the two roles.

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