March 26, 2023

Arsenal are currently leading the chase for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

What’s the news?

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the Premier League pace-setters are ‘in the lead’ to sign the 27-year-old ahead of Juventus and AC Milan.

The Serbian midfielder also has no intention of extending his contract, which is due to expire in 2024, which means that Arsenal can secure his signature for a fee of just €50m (£43.6m) according to the report.

Arteta’s own Jude Bellingham

Milinkovic-Savic was in Qatar representing Serbia at the World Cup, where he earned a 7.00 Sofascore rating despite his team finishing bottom of their group, and he has performed commendably at the club level in recent years.

Last season, he registered a stunning 22 goal contributions in Serie A (11 goals and 11 assists) from the heart of Lazio’s midfield, and having a genuine attacking threat from the middle of the park could be vital for Arteta heading into the second half of the campaign.

Furthermore, in 2021/22 the Serbian also created 11 big chances, made 1.4 key passes per match, and took 81.2 touches per game, so it’s no wonder that he was described as “magic” by Lazio team-mate Ciro Immobile earlier this season.

Arteta could even land his own version of Jude Bellingham by signing the midfielder. According to FBRef, the sought-after Dortmund star is the second-most similar player to Milinkovic-Savic; and considering just how good the Englishman is at only 19, it isn’t a bad comparison to have.

This season has seen the two players register similar statistics when it comes to goals (three each), dribble success rate (46.9% to 43.3%, Bellingham first), goal-creating actions (6 to 10), and aerial duels won (62.9% to 58.5%), which shows that they are both excellent all-round midfielders.

Indeed, over the previous 365 days, the Lazio star has been one of the continent’s finest players, ranking in the top 5% for non-penalty goals, assists touches in the attacking penalty area, and progressive passes recovery among positional peers.

With the Spaniard ideally looking to add another midfielder and centre-forward to his squad during the January transfer window, he should be looking to tie down a deal for Milinkovic-Savic as soon as possible.

Given the aforementioned quote of just £43.6m, Arsenal could have their own Bellingham for a fraction of the £130m that Borussia Dortmund are demanding for their prized asset, and this is a move which could help the Gunners to land their first league title in 19 years if it comes off.

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