Arsenal came close to signing AC Milan's Manuel Locatelli in the summer
Reports in Italy claim that Arsenal were keen to secure the services of AC Milan prodigy, Manuel Locatelli in the previous transfer window. According to Italian website Calciomercato, Arsenal chief scout, Neil Banfield was in attendance for several games of AC Milan to watch the 18-year-old.
Banfield was more than impressed with Locatelli and Arsenal did make an offer for the youngster which The Rossoneri rejected.
Milan vice-president, Adriano Galliani, recently confirmed that Locatelli has signed a new contract with the club. “Locatelli has just renewed till 2020. He has a lot of talent and can co-exist with [Riccardo Montolivo],” said Galliani.
Locatelli scored in Milan’s 4-3 comeback win over Sassuolo earlier this month. The youngster also helped Milan beat defending champions, Juventus, after scoring the only goal of the affair at the San Siro. The youngster’s sublime strike from the edge of the box secured Milan’s first win against Juventus in almost four years.
The youngster, who loves to take up a deep position in midfield which helps him to showcase his ability to pass the ball, has drawn comparisons with Italian midfield maestro, Andrea Pirlo and Locatelli is a self-confessed fan of Pirlo.
”I had a poster of Andrea Pirlo on my wall, he was my idol,” said the youngster. “I want to emulate him. I watch his matches to learn from him.”
It is no surprise that the youngster has been labelled as the next Pirlo as he possesses a certain degree of prowess when it comes to long range passes.
Locatelli, who made his debut for Milan against Carpi in April, is a talent that AC Milan fans would want to see at the club for a long time. However, considering the progress that the youngster is making it’ll be interesting to see how long Locatelli will remain at the San Siro.
Milan fans will be happy to see a change of attitude in the club’s hierarchy when it comes to keeping hold of their young talents. This wasn’t the case previously and the sale of Bryan Cristante to Benfica in 2014 being a prime example. Young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and right-back Davide Calabria are fine talents to have come out of the youth academy of The Rossoneri.
The 18-time league champions are currently 5th in the Serie A table and are 5 points adrift of league leaders, Juventus. Milan host Pescara in the latest round of fixtures in the Serie A.
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