Arsenal are reportedly keen on signing Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho, according to reports in Mirror.
The 21 year old is proving to be a sensation in Portugal this season and has quickly caught the eye of the Premier League giants with a string of sublime performances.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has asked for a detailed report on Carvalho, whose contract runs in the Portuguese capital until 2018.
The report further states that the issue is somewhat complicated as 40% of the player’s sporting rights being owned by a third party BES, something which would need to be addressed before he can move to the Premier League.
Arsenal and United are leading the race to secure his signature while Italian side Juventus are also interested in his services. The Portugal international reportedly has a release clause in the region of £37.5 million but reports claim that Sporting will be willing to listen to offers of just over £13 million.
The defensive midfielder started all 14 domestic league games, scoring two goals and was named the best player in the Portuguese Primeira Liga by the supporters during October and November and if his consistency lasts for a whole season, he will be in the starting lineup for Portugal in the World Cup 2014.
Carvalho’s style of play resembles that of Patrick Vieira’s. His preferred position is as a single holding midfielder in a three-man midfield and can also play as a centre back. He stands at 6 feet 1 inches and provides a strong physical presence and also imposes himself against opponents. Despite being very strong he’s not known for being a hard tackler nor does he commit many fouls as his anticipation skills are one of his main strengths.
He is calm with the ball at his feet and barely loses the ball when challenged. He is as good going forward as he is at the back and allows the players in front of him to charge forward. However he is somewhat weak when he plays against a technically gifted number 10.
Wenger brought back Mathieu Flamini in the summer to strengthen the defensive midfield department but may feel that Carvalho would provide a more youthful approach and the North London club may look to make the most of Sporting Lisbon’s reported financial difficulties.
A move for Carvalho would certainly adhere to Wenger’s youthful transfer policy and would provide some much needed protection for their more creative talent to flourish. We have enough back up in that position with the likes of Arteta and Flamini and I feel we should rather concentrate our efforts more on acquiring a striker this month, however if we sign him then he would definitely be a welcome addition to the squad.
Should we sign William Carvalho this month? Share your thoughts in the comments below.