Arsenal buoyed as Manchester City star hailed as next Patrick Vieira linked with Emirates Stadium transfer.
Manchester City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim has welcomed transfer rumours linking him with Arsenal, according to Sky Sports.
The 22 year-old, who has spent the last season on loan at Norwegian side Stromsgodset, has been likened to a young Patrick Vieira due to his physique and playing style.
Ibrahim certainly has no problems with the comparison – and indeed welcomed it.
“I’m very flattered to be linked with Arsenal, I grew up as an Arsenal fan and my hero was Patrick Vieira when he was playing there,” Ibrahim told Sky Sports.
“I would be very honoured to play for Arsenal and it would be all my dreams come true to work with Arsene Wenger.
“He has developed so many young players over the years and gave them chances in the first team but at the moment my focus now is doing very well in the Under 21 European Championship next month in Israel with my national team and hopefully try and win the tournament.
“We will see what happens in the next couple of months about my future as I’m contracted to Manchester City for another year.
“I’m open to extending my new deal, but I’d like to meet the new manager if it’s [Manuel] Pellegrini and see what he has to say.
“I’m 22 years old now and I want to be playing week in, week out in the Premier League.”
Like Vieira, Abdisalam Ibrahim is capable of playing in both central midfield and in the anchor position just in front of the defence.
From that position he both protects the back four and starts attacks, and given the Gunners’ clear need for a holding player, Ibrahim could be a surprise addition to the Emirates Stadium squad.
Whilst Arsenal have been linked with more established names in more prestigious leagues than the Tippeligaen in Norway, there are few better managers at coaching out potential in players than Arsene Wenger.
Patrick Vieira of course was unable to break into the AC Milan first team before transferring to north London, only ever playing for the reserves except for two senior appearances before becoming a Gunners great.
Ibrahim will dream of doing the same.