While Arsenal were overcoming arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby, their chief scout Steve Rowley was in Germany to watch Eintracht Frankfurt vs SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga.
The Daily Mirror report Rowley was there to watch Freiburg defender Matthias Ginter, who excelled in a fine away performance, with the match won by his team 4-1.
The 20 year-old Ginter – who recently won his first cap for Germany – is a versatile footballer who plays most of his matches at centre back, but can do a job in the anchor role of midfield when required.
With that in mind, it is unsurprising that his best attributes include his positioning, anticipation and technique on the ball, while at 6’3″ he is naturally useful in the air too.
Ginter was linked with Manchester United earlier this month, with manager David Moyes making a personal trip to watch him in action, and voiced his approval at the interest shown by Europe’s major clubs.
“I am unable to publicly discuss negotiations, this should remain behind closed doors,” Ginter is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“It’s definitely good to know great clubs are interested in my services. It’s an honour to see clubs like this being keen.
“It’s my goal to play for a big club one day in the future. This is no secret.”
Given Manchester United’s travails this season, Arsenal may prove the more enticing proposition, but the near impregnable partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the back could mean he would have to wait for a first team chance.
With Nemanja Vidic leaving Old Trafford for Inter Milan this summer, and question marks over the form of Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, Man Utd may be the easier team to break into.
If both clubs were to have bids accepted this summer, Matthias Ginter will have a big decision on his hands.