Arsenal are targeting a striker with “enormous potential” in the shape of Sporting Lisbon starlet Tiago Tomas, youth coach Joao Vargas has told Radio Renascenca.
When half your team is being linked with big-money moves to the Premier League, that’s usually a sign you’re doing rather well.
And while Sporting fans may be sick and tired of seeing Pedro Goncalves, Joao Palhinha and Matheus Nunes in the gossip columns, this is the inevitable result of a superb season for the Lisbon giants.
Ruben Amorim’s side are ten points clear at the top of the table, cruising towards their first league title in two decades.
And, at the age of 18, fresh-faced striker Tomas has played a major role, featuring in every one of Sporting’s 20 matches in 2020/21.
According to The Sun, the teenage forward is expected to join Arsenal at the end of the season for a fee of about £20 million.
Arsenal director Edu is locked in negotiations with Sporting counterpart Hugo Viana and, while Vargas would be disappointed to see Tomas go, he would take plenty of pride in seeing a player who honed his talents in the club’s feted youth academy seal a big-money move to a European giant.
“We always see enormous potential,” Vargas says, hailing Tomas’ performance in the recent 1-0 win over bitter rivals Benfica.
“He worked hard for the team and created problems for Benfica’s defence due to his courage and the speed he manages to introduce in his actions. He is always a difficult player to stop.”
A hard-running, hard-working centre-forward, Tomas has produced five goals and three assists during his breakthough season at Sporting.
Could he be the long-term replacement for the similarly altruistic Alexandre Lacazette at Arsenal?