Arsenal are reportedly readying a January move for Croatian youngster Alen Halilovic, according to reports in The Express.
The 17 year old was close to a deal with Tottenham over the summer but the move fell through with his agent Shay Chen insisting that his client’s club are demanding too high a fee for the pint sized playmaker.
The report suggests that a deal to send Halilovic to CSKA Moscow as a replacement for Keisuke Honda have proved unfounded and there has likewise been no confirmation of suggestions that the youngster may have agreed to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season. It further states that Arsenal hope that they may be able to snatch Halilovic out from under their north London rivals nose.
The starlet is currently on the books of Dinamo Zagreb and is looking at the option of leaving the club. However the midfielder is targeting first team football something he may not get in north London. However Arsenal’s reputation for developing quality young players could sway the starlet to make the move to the Emirates Stadium.
Alen Halilović was born on the 18th of June, 1996 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is the son of former Bosnian international Sejad Halilović. Alen started his career playing at youth level for Dinamo Zagreb and when he was aged 14, Real Madrid spotted him at a youth tournament and tried to sign him but Dinamo were not willing to release him, so he stayed put and signed a four-year scholarship.
He made his senior team debut on 27 September 2012 becoming the youngest player in Croatian history. Ten days later he scored, making him the youngest ever scorer at the age of 16 years and 101 days. He is now a regular in the Dinamo squad and became their youngest ever Champions League player when he featured against Paris Saint Germain in November last year.
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He stands at 5 ft 1 in but it is this lack of height that allows for superb balance and change of pace that has perhaps been the primary reason for comparisons with Lionel Messi. He is deceptively strong with a low centre of gravity, though of course he would still need to continue to bulk up before moving to a top European league. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is able to utilise his excellent dribbling abilities and sudden burst of acceleration to beat opposition defenders one-on-one. He is also a clinical finisher in front of goal.
Arsenal already have the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta in their midfield so he will be able to make an instant impact at the Emirates. Wenger has a likening for young playmakers and Halilovic fits the bill perfectly, so I would be surprised if Wenger doesn’t move for him in January.
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