Shakhtar Donetsk are playing Arsenal for fools by demanding an asking price in the region of €100 million for winger Mykhailo Mudryk.
Negotiations between the clubs are ongoing, but Chelsea are monitoring the situation and could swoop for the Ukraine international winger should the Gunners waver over a deal.
Clearly, Arsenal are unwilling to pay drastically over the odds for the player, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on 5 January.
Mykhailo Mudryk: The money Chelsea have offered to outbid Arsenal
Mudryk, after all, only has 44 senior appearances for Shakhtar behind him, and though he has been touted as a potential Ballon d’Or winner by former manager Roberto De Zerbi, there is a limited pool of evidence to suggest he is capable of such a level given that this is his first season established as a starter for Shakhtar.
So what are Arsenal’s other alternatives, bearing in mind they are likely to want a player with similar attributes to Mudryk – strong passing, crossing and finishing – who plays with a similar style and is of a comparable age profile.
Rather than other wingers the Gunners have been linked with – for example Wilfried Zaha – here are three stars who have a similar profile to Mudryk.
MORE: Arsenal fan finds incredible ‘proof’ that Mudryk is already in the UK
Arsenal’s Mudryk alternatives
Samuel Chukwueze – Villarreal
The Nigeria international primarily operates off the right wing but is versatile enough to shift to the left. At 23 years old, he is impressing for Villarreal in Spain. This season, he has seven goals and six assists in 24 matches across four competitions.
Data analytics experts SciSports believe he is a player capable of going all the way to the top of the game in the right environment.
FootballTransfers Valuation: €20 million
David Perreira da Costa – Lens
Lens are absolutely flying this season and one of the reasons has been the strong performance of attacking midfielder David Pereira da Costa, who missed the recent 3-1 win over PSG because of a minor injury.
Interestingly, he shares exactly the same birthday as Mudryk and boasts 59 senior apparances for a team that has been excelling in Ligue 1 lately. With just one goal and two assists this season, his performances have flown under the radar abroad, but he is highly thought of in France and it might be wise for the Gunners to get ahead of the curve by snapping him up for cheap.
The drawback? He more typically plays centrally than on the wing.
FootballTransfers Valuation: €5 million
Mikel Oyarzabal – Real Sociedad
The 25-year-old Real Sociedad star had a difficult 2022 that saw him laid up through injury for much of the year. A player with such pedigree that he has turned out for Spain on 21 occasions, he returned after an ACL rupture against Osasuna on New Year’s Eve.
He is a player with strong goalscoring pedigree off the left wing, having netted 10 goals in four successive seasons before finding the net nine times in 22 games before injury last time around.
Back fit, expect to see his name linked to some top clubs imminently.
FootballTransfers Valuation: €29 million