Roma in pole for 'next Riquelme' teen Arsenal and Manchester City have scouted

Riquelme

Leandro Paredes has returned to full training after an ankle injury, and AS Roma cannot wait to see him back in action.

Arsenal and Manchester City were linked with the signature of a teenage Argentine playmaker a year ago called Leandro Paredes.

The youngster is reportedly the heir to the throne of Argentina’s mercurial cult legend Juan Roman Riquelme, in fact he is even nicknamed 'The Heir', and he certainly possesses a similar talent - if anything he also carries more pace than his master. The protégé has been watched by Manchester City and Arsenal scouts in the past while interest from Italy also exists, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have all reportedly tracked him.

Riquelme has already spoken of his admiration for the young starlet:

"He plays well, I like him. He has a lot of pressure on him, he's young. He always wants to improve and he's going to be a figure of Argentine football. I am lucky to be with him and I'm going to help him however I can."

You can immediately see why either Premier League side would be interested in a player of this guild. A supreme technical operator he has a delightful first touch and his range of passing is exemplary. At only just 19 he fits the youth bill more than most, and the possibility of sending him on-loan to Spain while any potential issues with a work permit arise would be perfect for this Spanish speaking talent.

Arsenal - Premier League contenders or pretenders?

However times have been tough for the 19-year-old recently. He suffered a tear to his ankle ligaments in the summer and was ruled out for three months. He recently returned to action for the reserves however, and even bagged a goal - so his recuperation is clicking into gear.

So can he get Arsenal and Manchester City interested in him again?

Well they might want to move fast if they do want him - as AS Roma do.

After losing Erik Lamela to Tottenham Hotspur the capital club are ready to invest in a new Argentine talent in January, according to reports in Italy. Paredes has the same agent as Lamela, and they hope that amicable relationship could aid an approach for the player.

He is certainly one of the top talents not playing in Europe right now - so moving fast to secure his signature could be key. But first he must return from injury and regain the interest that used to follow him a year ago.

If he can, then expect something of a transfer battle come January for the ‘next Juan Roman Riquelme’.

image: © supersteiner

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