The 27 year old, who can play all positions up front, had a prolific last season with Torino scoring 13 goals and has also represented Italy at the World Cup. The Gunners have emerged as the front-runners for the Italian attacker’s signature with the player having been linked with a move away from Turin all summer.
The Serie A side’s president Urbano Cairo has now all but confirmed his departure as he revealed the winger will be leaving Torino for an overseas club. He said:
Cerci’s buyers are overseas
The report further states that Cerci was pulled out of the Torino squad for their Europa League clash with RNK Split tonight, with the club saying he is not in the right frame of mind.
Some other reports have also confirmed that the Gunners are clear favourites to sign the experienced winger and even suggested that his agent was in London on Tuesday discussing a deal with the North London Club. He has also been tracked by AC Milan and Roma this summer, with Torino facing a battle to keep hold of their prized asset.
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He bagged 13 goals in 37 league games last season, as well as creating 10 goals for his team-mates. He completed 74% of his passes and was successful with 43% of his take ons, but that works out at an impressive 66 successful take ons. He also managed a 63% shot accuracy in Serie A last season, hitting the target 50 times in 37 games. His 74% pass completion could be higher, but he does tend to try and feed his fellow attackers and won just 17% of his 52 aerial duels.
Style of Play:
He is a versatile forward who spent most of his career out on the left wing but shone as a second striker for Torino. He can provide depth on either wing and even as an out-and-out striker. When playing on the right, he has a tendency to cut inside and shoot with his favoured left foot. He’s an excellent dribbler and set-piece specialist, while he has a knack for scoring long-range goals.
Should we Sign?
Cerci isn’t a young prospect, and at the age of 27, he’ll likely never become a superstar or a world-class player. But what he brings to the table is pace, an excellent nose for goal, a high work rate and the versatility to line up all over the offensive front. The Italian is capable of playing as a winger or support striker comfortably, giving Arsene Wenger a couple of options if he were to sign him.
He could realistically replace the injured Giroud or could cover for Arsenal’s other new boy Alexis Sanchez on the right whilst the Chilean covers up front for Giroud. His versatility means that Wenger would be able to alternate who plays on the right out of Sanchez, Cerci and Theo Walcott, whilst one of the other three can deputise for Giroud as a striker.
He could cost the Gunners around £15 million to acquire his services and would definitely be a good addition to the squad, as he would add depth to their attacking positions through the rigorous season. Not quite the world class striker we need though.
Rumour Rater : 3/5
1 – Never going to happen
2 – Unlikely
3 – Could be possible
4 – Likely
5 – Done deal
Share your thoughts in the comments below.