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Arsenal will reportedly step up their interest in Bordeaux forward Malcom this week with an offer of £35 million.
The Gunners are said to have lined up Malcom as a potential replacement, and Draper’s report suggested they will make an offer for the 20-year-old in the coming days. While Arsenal will reportedly make a £35 million bid, Bordeaux are said to be keen to hold out for £45 million.
“The Brazilian, who can play wide right or left, is an outstanding technical player though Arsenal recognise he will take time to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League,” Draper continued.
According to French football journalist Romain Collet-Gaudin (h/t Football.London), Arsenal are “finalising” a deal for the player:
Romain Collet-Gaudin @RomainCG75
⚠️ #Malcom (#Bordeaux) est avec son agent #Conarcini pour finaliser son transfert à #Arsenal ! https://t.co/5vCV3cJgMk
Indeed, if Sanchez does move on and Malcom comes in, it would be unfair to expect him to immediately replace the Chilean’s influence. As these numbers from Sky Sports Statto show, the 29-year-old so often comes up with a big goal when it matters for the Gunners:
Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto
Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 29 goals in his last 29 away PL starts (22 goals & 7 assists) #PL #CPFCvAFC https://t.co/r6uFShBXhp
Factor in his tenacity, work rate and versatility, and there aren’t many footballers on the planet capable of adding what Sanchez does.
Malcom can’t yet, although there’s no denying he has the natural talent to eventually become as good as the current Arsenal No. 7. The Brazilian has caught the eye of so many with his dazzling displays in Ligue 1 this season.
Although he can operate on either wing, Malcom has been sensational playing on the right flank this season, giving so many left-backs a torrid time with his blistering speed, skill and improved decision-making.
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images
As these numbers from Scouted Football show, the youngster has been forced to shoulder a lot of responsibility in a struggling team, too:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Malcom (20) has contributed to a greater % of his team’s league goals this season than any other U23 player in Europe’s top five leagues. • 52.2% • 7 goals • 5 assists Bordeaux on his back. 🏋️♂️ https://t.co/kP7PEowThI
Any concerns Arsenal may have about the robust nature of the Premier League making things difficult for Malcom are understandable, as the youngster is diminutive in stature. Still, his technical ability and quick feet make him so tough to take the ball from.
On the right flank, he’d fit in well at Arsenal, as that wing is an area where the Gunners have lacked a regular presence. There have been positive signs he would be able to handle the pressure that’ll inevitably fall on his shoulders if the move does go through, too.
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol commented on the winger’s talent and provided a further update ahead of a possible move:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
Arsenal target Malcom playing against Troyes tonight. Runs half length of pitch & puts in brilliant cross for Laborde to give Bordeaux the lead. His agents were in London last night
There’s a high ceiling on Malcom’s progression, and any club that does prise him away from Bordeaux will be getting a stunning footballer. Still, patience would be key in the early stages of his career at any new club, especially if he’s to move to the Premier League.
Arsenal will be worse off without Sanchez, of that there’s little doubt. Supporters would at least be encouraged to see the club building for a bright future if they were able to secure the signing of the Bordeaux starlet.