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FCSB forward Ianis Stoica should turn down the chance to join Premier League giants Arsenal in the January transfer window, his Romania U21 coach Florin Bratu tells GSP Sport. 

Only 14 Romanian footballers have ever played in the Premier League.

The fact that Costel Pantilimon can perhaps be described as the most successful of those – apart from one-time Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu of course – should tell you all you need to know. 

Florin Andone struggled for goals at Brighton. Adrian Mutu at Chelsea didn’t exactly go to plan.

And the reputation of Vlad Chiriches will always be tainted by a time in which Spurs sold Elvis and bought… well, it feels a little unfair to compare Lennon, Ringo and Harrison to Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Roberto Soldado. 

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Bratu, then, is quick to warn 18-year-old Stoica about the potential pitfalls of the Premier League. 

“He must disregard Arsenal,” Bratu says. “We have to be honest, it is very difficult at the moment to play a Romanian player at Arsenal.  

“(Although) it’s an important thing that he’s wanted there. That certifies his value.” 

Gigi Becali, FCSB’s outspoken owner, claimed earlier this month that Arsenal are interested.

He adds that the Gunners have launched a £6.4 million bid for the jet-heeled forward, one who has been likened to PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe due to his explosive speed and eye for goal (AS).

Becali, however, is looking for closer to £8.5 million.

“As far as I know Ianis Stoica, he is an extremely balanced guy,” Bratu adds.  

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“If he only takes the approach of; ‘Arsenal is looking at me, let’s work harder, break into the FCSB team and play matches in the starting line-up’. 

“Then we can get a very good striker for Romania. My opinion is that he is number nine. Will become a great striker.” 

Every single one of Arsenal’s summer signings – Nuno Tavares, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard – were 23 and under when they arrived at the Emirates. 

Teenager Stoica, then, would suit a transfer strategy introduced by manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu. 

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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