By Chris Wright
Arsenal are being linked with a pair of £9-million-rated youngsters this morning – Catania’s 21-year-old Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto and Real Zaragoza’s 20-year-old play maker Ander Herrera.
Morimoto (who is currently on the cusp of the Japanese national team) is hoping to secure a place in the World Cup squad following some good performances in Serie A this season and The News Of The World seem to think that Arsenal are preparing to make an offer for the forward before the tournament starts in June.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, The Gunners have already lodged a €10 million bid for Herrera but Zaragoza are keen to activate the €24 million release clause in his contract – and AS speculate that the two clubs will probably agree on a fee of around €15 million.
Now, I doubt Arsene Wenger will be willing to part with the best part of £20 million for two unknown quantities and I can’t see either transfer actually materialising, but the respective sources (particularly AS) seem adamant that the deals are imminent.
Morimoto has produced some solid performances in Italy this season, but is still in and out of the relegation-threatened Catania side, and whereas Herrera is undoubtedly gifted, (he must have something about him to have cemented his place in the Zaragoza side at the tender age of 20) is he really worth all that money? In a word, no.
Arsene Wenger is far too shrewd to be taken for a ride by clubs that are overly keen to cash in on their only hotly-tipped prospect – and I can’t help but think that the £20 million in question would be better spent if put toward bringing in a decent striker/goalkeeper.