Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has given his opinion on the Gunners' pursuit of the highly rated Ivan Fresneda. The 18-year-old defender, who plays for Real Valladolid, has been linked with a switch to the Emirates as Mikel Arteta looks to tighten things up at the back.
Fresneda has been a key player for the Liga outfit this season, making 12 appearances across competitions and amassing 834 minutes of playing time. When queried about the club's pursuit of the 18-year-old, Petit had nothing but positive things to say about Fresneda.
"He’s powerful and has good technique," the former Arsenal midfielder said about Real Valladolid defender during an exclusive interview with Sportingpost. "He gets forward well and has great energy."
Fresneda will compete with Ben White for the right-back spot if he ends up moving to the Emirates. The latter's performances in recent games have left a lot to be desired. He struggled to cope with Marcus Rashford's intensity during the Gunners' 3-2 win over Manchester United at the weekend, forcing Arteta to take him off at half-time.
Petit said that White struggled on Sunday, adding that Arsenal are taking the right steps with their efforts to strengthen their squad amid Fresneda's potential arrival. He also praised Arteta's impact on the improvement of the team.
"On Sunday, Ben White was in a bit of trouble against Rashford, and I think Arteta made the right decision taking him off at half time," he said. "I think Arteta and his team understand they have a jewel in their hands with this young team, and they represent the future of the Premier League. They have improved so much."
"What is the meaning of being a manager? To improve the individual and collective quality of the team and this is exactly what Arteta has done. I remember all the criticism that Arteta received at the beginning, but look at where they are now. "
"I’m so happy with the strategy of the club, and of Arteta and the board. It’s so different now with the money some clubs are able to spend. If you look at Arsenal they are taking the right decisions. I don’t see anyone doing any better than them!"
The Gunners are five points clear of Manchester City (50) atop the Premier League and have a game in hand.
Louis Saha tips Arsenal for top-four finish
Following Arsenal's 3-2 victory over Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend, former United striker Louis Saha has tipped the Gunners to finish in the top four
"I believe it will be Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United, the four sides who occupy those positions at the moment. You can see Manchester United finishing either second or third because they’re playing very well at the moment."
"I believe it will be those four sides, and I have no doubt about it. Newcastle have done tremendously well this season and deserve to be in the Champions League."
The Gunners are looking good for their first league title in nearly two decades (2003-04).