5 facts about Arsenal FC wonderkid target: Club say he's 'next Ozil'

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The Gunners are looking to raid Bundesliga club Wolfsburg for a teenage talent earmarked as a future Mesut Ozil but he may want Manchester United…

As well as being able to scout potential as well as talent, Arsene Wenger must also be credited with spotting trends. His initial recruitment drive upon becoming Arsenal manager - bringing in Patrick Vieira, Remi Garde, Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit, Gilles Grimandi et al - was not merely because he is a Strasbourg-born French patriot, but rather down to Ligue 1 producing quality talent at a good price.

Fifteen years later, Wenger began to bring in athletes from another nation renowned for their contribution to world soccer - Germany - as Per Mertesacker and Serge Gnabry arrived at N5 in 2011, followed by Lukas Podolski and Thomas Eisfield a year later, then Mesut Ozil and Gedion Zelalem in 2013.

Do not be surprised to see more Germans arrive at London Colney this summer, perhaps beginning with VfL Wolfsburg attack-minded midfielder Maximilian Arnold, 19, if a report in The Mirror is to be believed. Just who is he? Here are five facts…

1): He has been likened to…

…current Arsenal star Mesut Ozil but not just due to nationality, but also in terms of physique, positional preference on the pitch and the fact they both thrived at Wolfsburg playing alongside Brazilian magician Diego.

The comparisons were talked up by the club's sporting director Klaus Allofs last year, who told Kicker: 'There are parallels. Maxi is definitely in the middle. Mesut first had to get used to the new environment after his move to Werder. Maxi has an adequate self-confidence [but Arnold is] intelligent, quick-witted and humble.'

2): Arnold is contracted until…

…2017. He only signed a deal at the Volkswagen Arena last summer, proclaimed it the realisation of a dream and vowed to improve day by day. He has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £2.6m but would likely only be sold for a much higher price, something he will no doubt be astonished by because…

3): …he is modest.

A friend of his informed him he was playing the latest edition of the popular Football Manager simulation/video game and bought him for £6m, a sum that reportedly 'surprised' him.

4): His statistics already make impressive reading.

The 19-year-old has returned six goals and one assist from an advanced midfield position, an attacking efficiency of a goal or assist returned once every 153 minutes in the Bundesliga on average thus far this season. He has a passing accuracy of 85%, has a tackling success of 44%, created 18 chances and has a crack on goal once every 30 minutes, on average. Interestingly, the ground he covers per appearance is good - 11.6km per match.

5): Arsene Wenger has a rival for the coveted player's signature as…

Manchester United were linked with Arnold prior to the official opening of the mid-season transfer window, with some digital journalism outlets even attributing headlining quotes that it is his 'dream' to represent the Old Trafford side. However, no such quotes appeared in the body copy, leaving the claim he did say this dubious at best. Considering the plethora of young, top German talent breaking out at the Emirates Stadium, combined with Wenger's fluency in German, he may well have the edge over David Moyes should the race for Maximilian be between two horses.

image: © tjuel

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