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Arsenal track Palermo youngster Acquah

Reports in Italian have suggested that Arsenal are monitoring the availability for Palermo midfielder Afriyie Acquah who is currently on loan at Parma.

The Ghanaian-born youngster has impressed in his early appearances in Serie A but he has yet to make a full breakthrough into the Palermo first-team.

Parma were offered the player on loan and snapped him up at the beginning of the season – they are reported to have the option written into their contract of buying the player at the end of the his loan spell but they have decided not to make the move permanent.

The International Business Times report that the Gunners are willing to shell out €9 million for the 20-year-old who manager Arsene Wenger hopes to convert into a dedicated defensive midfielder as his natural qualities lend to that role.

Currently Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta is occupying that position in the absence of the departed Alex Song to Barcelona in the summer. Arteta has been a revelation in the role but the 30-year-old cannot be expected to play every minute of every game for the North Londoners.

The only available alternative for Wenger at present is young Francis Coquelin who has still yet to convince thoroughly that he’s ready for Premier League football on a regular basis. Long-term injury victim Emmanuel Frimpong was hailed as the most promising talent in that position but he’s now been sent out on loan Charlton Athletic to improve his fitness, form and development.

Young Acquah could be the addition Wenger is looking for – he’s young, energetic and hungry for a big break. He’s strong, feisty and technically proficient with the ball at his feet.

Arsenal have reportedly re-ignited their interest in Rennes and France starlet Yann M’Vila but due to his tendency for indiscipline both on and off the field it is unknown whether Wenger would reconsider a move for the Frenchman. It is thought to have serious concerns about the player’s attitude and application.

To me €9 million sounds a little excessive for an almost unknown and unproven 20-year-old – the idea that he would be expected to settle in to one of the toughest league’s in the world and develop his game simultaneously seems a little too great an expectation, even for the likes of Arsene Wenger.

However, the Gunners boss has been speaking recently about his preference to bring in unknown rather than pander to the fans’ desperation for big name marquee signings. Perhaps it was Acquah he had in mind when he made those comments?

image: © jikatu

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