Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is lining-up a £6 million bid for long term transfer target M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Express.
The 18 year old striker is widely regarded as one of European football’s top young talents, and was linked with a switch to Chelsea over the summer.
The Frenchman was on Wenger’s radar in 2012 when he was looking to leave French outfit Caen and there were even reports that he came to the club for a short trial. However, a deal failed to materialise and Niang eventually signed for AC Milan in August 2012 for an undisclosed fee.
The report suggests that Gunners chief Arsene Wenger is set to offer £6 million for the talented youngster. The France under-21 striker enjoyed a promising start to life in Serie A but has dropped behind the likes of Robinho, Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Sharaaway in the pecking order this season leading to speculation he could look for a move. His chances of regular action are likely to take another hit in the New Year, with Keisuke Honda’s imminent arrival at the San Siro.
M’Baye Niang was born in the western suburbs of Paris where he grew up until he joined the nearby professional football club based in Caen, Normandy. When he was just 15, he played for the Caen U17 team, but was quickly moved up to the U19 squad and then to the reserves group. His performances didn’t go unnoticed as he was offered his first professional contract shortly after he turned 16.
He enjoyed his first appearance in Ligue 1 on the 24th April 2011. The season which kick started his career was with the U-17’s and ended with seven appearances and three goals in the national top division. Despite attracting a lot of interest from England he decided to move to the San Siro by signing for AC Milan in the summer of 2012. He enjoyed a good first season as he made 20 league appearances for the Rossoneri. However, with an avalanche of attacking players now available he has been restricted to the bench.
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The Gunners are light in attack, with Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner the only senior options available to Wenger at the Emirates Stadium. Niang is regarded as a star of the future in Europe, and his arrival at Arsenal would be a major transfer coup for this season’s Premier League title chasers. The teenager may be tempted to make the move, with the north London side having a reputation for nurturing young talent.
However, any Arsenal move for Niang would bring Wenger’s summer acquisition of Yaya Sanogo into question. M’Baye offers the versatility of being able to play on the flanks as well as up front, and this may well be the reason that Wenger is targeting him despite already having Sanogo in the squad. I personally feel we can have both of them and maybe send one of them on loan, preferably Yaya as he lacks experience at the top level.
Should we sign Niang or stick with Sanogo? Share your thoughts in the comments below.