Would Arsenal be wise to gamble on Barcelona's Bojan?

Bojan Krkic

Arsenal are linked with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez this summer but could the Gunners be tempted to take a gamble on his young teammate forgotten man Bojan Krkic?

The 23-year-old Spaniard was hailed as the next Lionel Messi when he burst into the first-team at Barcelona back in 2007 at the tender age of 17. The La Masia academy graduate found it difficult to prove himself a worthy heir to the throne of Messi, despite his undoubted talent and after four seasons as a peripheral figure at the Camp Nou he was sent out on loan to Roma in 2011.

The forward scored seven goals in 33 appearances in Serie A in 2011/12 whilst on loan in the Italian capital and was sent back out on loan to Italy the following season in 2012/13 to AC Milan but managed just three goals in 19 appearances.

This season, the Catalans sent him to join Dutch giants Ajax but again failed to impress with just four goals in 24 appearances in the Eredivisie last term leading many to question whether he would ever fulfil his potential.

Bojan broke a number of records in his first few terms in the Catalans’ first team – he was the youngest ever player to score for Barcelona in a league match at 17 years and 53 days, the first ever person born in the 1990s to score in the Champions League at 17 years and 217 days and he broke Lionel Messi’s record of being the youngest player to feature for Barcelona in a league match.

He scored 12 goals in all competitions in his first term in the first team which is quite a healthy return for a teenager and he scored 10 goals the next term, 12 goals in 2009/10 and seven goals in 2010/11 but has never hit his stride at the clubs he has resided at on loan.

He could now be available for just £5 million and at 23 years of age has time on his side to turn his future around but there is no doubt it would be something of a gamble for any top level club to take, given how underwhelmingly he has performed in the last three years.

According to reports, Arsenal are considering taking that gamble but would Bojan Krkic be worth the risk? Arsenal have Olivier Giroud and will likely bring in another forward, possibly his teammate at the Camp Nou Alexis Sanchez to join the ranks alongside young Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and potential Costa Rica star Joel Campbell if he is kept at the Emirates next term.

Bojan needs regular access to first team football in order to regain his confidence and form and I would not expect him to find that at Arsenal – he would not be considered a first choice up front or in wide positions either and he would be competing with youngsters coming through that are already Arsenal players for a place in the team even as a substitute.

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