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Reports: Arsenal and Liverpool to fight it out for German star

Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
Rumors
3.84K   //    09 Feb 2018, 16:37 IST

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League
Klopp and Wenger are set to battle it out again this time in the transfer window

What's the rumour?

Arsenal and Liverpool are set to once again cross paths, not on the field, but in the upcoming summer transfer window. Both clubs have reportedly agreed to meet the demands for 1899 Hoffenheim star, Kerem Demirbay, as reported by talkSPORT.

The two Premier League giants have reportedly met with the German's agent, and are believed to be willing to trigger the German's £28 million release clause.

In case you didn't know...

The midfielder joined 1899 Hoffenheim in 2016, having previously been a part of the youth ranks at Borussia Dortmund. From Dortmund, he then moved to Hamburg, before being sent out on two loan spells.

Since joining Hoffenheim in 2016, the former Turkish youth international has been a regular feature in midfield.

He was an instrumental part of the successful 2016/17 season, which saw the German club finish 4th in the Bundesliga table and qualify for the UEFA Champions League playoff round. He contributed with 6 goals and 10 assists in the Bundesliga in his maiden season at his new club.

His impressive showing domestically helped him in capturing the eye of German national team manager Joachim Low, who rewarded him with a place in the 23-man squad for Germany in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

The heart of the matter

This season, Demirbay has been able to repeat his impressive performances as he has been part of Julian Nagelsmann's rotation due to Hoffenheim's participation in the UEFA Europa League group stages. However, he only averages 1.5 shots and 2 key passes per game.

An injury picked up last weekend in the Bundesliga against Hertha Berlin may have cut short the central midfielder's season. As per reports of the official Bundesliga website, the Hoffenheim number 10 has endured damaged to his ankle ligaments, and is expected to be out for the foreseeable future.

Liverpool FC v 1899 Hoffenheim - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg
Liverpool witnessed Demirbay first hand in their Champions League playoff clash against Hoffenheim

Rumour probability/rating: 8/10

Despite his injury, the North London and Merseyside clubs are keen on the midfielder, and his release clause is very affordable for the Premier League clubs to match. Both the clubs will be eyeing the German international as reinforcements in their midfield as replacements for the possible respective departures of Emre Can from Liverpool and Jack Wilshere from Arsenal

He is a versatile midfielder who can play in a holding role and further up forward in a number 10 role. Defensively, he averages 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game.

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Author's take

Kerem Demirbay is an excellent option for either Premier League club. He has also expressed his desire to play in England. The release clause is very attractive which can be met without any complications by both the English giants.

In my opinion, he would fit better in the Arsenal midfield if the Gunners fail in their attempts to tie down Jack Wilshere to a new contract. Demirbay would be the ideal replacement for Wilshere at the Emirates. The 24-year-old has got the work rate and crossing qualities required for a midfielder which will help him in settling into the playing style in England.

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Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
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