Forget Tello, Wenger was scouting this Barcelona gem... – report

FC Barcelona

Arsenal duo flew to Valencia to watch Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto as Barcelona took on Levante in the Copa Del Rey

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Arsene Wenger was on a scouting mission to watch over Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto

The 21-year-old midfielder arrived at Barcelona as a 14-year-old, going on to train at Barca’s famed La Masia academy.

At 17, Sergi Roberto appeared for the Barcelona reserves, contributing with 22 appearances and helping the side get promoted back to the second division.

Roberto made his first team debut in 2010 under then boss Pep Guardiola in the Copa Del Rey, coming as a second half substitute during Barcelona’s thumping 5-1 victory over minnows AD Cueta

Due to the overloaded talent Barcelona possess in midfield, appearances have been hard to come by, with the midfielder making one La Liga start and a handful of late substitution appearances so far this campaign.

Despite the limited minutes on the pitch, the youngster has performed admirably when called upon. In typical Barcelona fashion, Sergi Roberto has shown composure, intelligence and beautiful passing ability, successfully completing 89% of all passes - comparable with the very best.

Arsene Wenger got a good glimpse of his potential transfer target as Sergi Roberto played the full 90 minutes in Levante. Sitting to the left of a midfield trio also containing Xavi and former Gunner Alex Song, Barcelona completely dominated possession, controlling a whopping 70% of the ball.

Yet, it was Levante who took a first half lead, with Moroccan midfielder Nabil El-Zhar beating Pinto in the Barcelona net. However, a second half master class from another potential target Tello and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona take full control of the tie, running out eventual 4-1 winners.

Arsene Wenger’s reported target Sergi Roberto has a contract at the Nou Camp until the summer of 2015, however after impressive displays the Catalans are likely to offer their star a longer contract in the near future to avoid any potential contract situations similar to that of Montoya and Bartra.

Should Arsenal want to further their interest in the future midfield star, then perhaps further visits or an official enquiry will send word to the player of Arsenal’s intentions and possibly put doubts into the midfielder’s mind over signing a new long-term deal at the club.

image: © mariosp

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