Arsenal surprise names in chase to sign Benfica star.
Arsenal are contemplating a move for SL Benfica playmaker Nicolas Gaitan, according to the Metro.
Long linked with a transfer to Manchester United, Gaitan is now reportedly on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s radar, but the Metro report that SL Benfica will resist any proposal below the 25 year-old’s £40 million release clause.
Gaitan has a magic wand of a left foot, and playing on the left flank would give balance to the Gunners for the coming season.
The north London side played Lukas Podolski there for the first half of the season, but his work rate and stamina do not quite fit Arsenal’s intense pressing style they adopted in the closing months of the campaign.
Santi Cazorla replaced Podolski in the position cutting inside from the left, with the German moving up front, and with Arsenal regularly criticised for their narrow and predictable play, Gaitan could offer a fine left footed option to instead stretch play on that wing, and offer space elsewhere.
The Argentina international midfielder scored three times and provided nine assists in his 23 Primeira Liga appearances for Benfica, and was instrumental in helping the Eagles reach the UEFA Europa League final last season, where they eventually lost to Chelsea.