Arsenal face surprise battle from Championship club in race to sign Swiss midfielder: Reports

Arsenal among teams after Ardon Jashari of Switzerland.
Arsenal among teams after Ardon Jashari of Switzerland.

Championship club Middlesbrough are the surprise entrants in the race to sign Arsenal target and Swiss midfielder Ardon Jashari, as per Sky Sports (h/t HITC).

Jashari has come through the youth ranks at Luzern and has made himself a regular in their first-team set-up. Since making his senior club debut in July of 2020, he has scored five goals and provided seven assists in 40 games across competitions.

The midfielder has also been capped twice by the Swiss national team, including his minute-long appearance as a substitute in a 6-1 2022 FIFA World Cup loss against Portugal.

Four British clubs are now said to be interested in securing his services. Celtic and Leeds United are reportedly tracking Jashari's progress alongside Arsenal and Middlesbrough.

The Championship side, managed by Manchester United legend Michael Carrick, have been monitoring the 20-year-old for quite some time. He is believed to be suited to Carrick's style of play at the Riverside Stadium outfit. It goes without saying that Boro would be able to offer the Swiss midfielder a more important role in their senior side.

Leeds and Celtic may also sign Jashari with a view to making him a first-team regular. However, it remains to be seen if he can break into manager Mikel Arteta's starting XI on a regular basis if he does move to the Emirates.

The example of 21-year-old trio Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and William Saliba would offer Jashari great hope about his chances at Arsenal.

Albert Sambi-Lokonga has failed to capture fans' imagination while Thomas Partey's injury troubles in north London are there for all to see. Hence, Jashari could hope for meaningful minutes if he opts to move to the current Premier League leaders.

Arteta pleased with Arsenal star after win vs Oxford United

One young midfielder Arteta will be hoping to get the best out of during his time at Arsenal is Fabio Vieira.

The Portugal U21 international was signed from FC Porto last summer for a fee of £34.2 million. However, he has struggled to break into Arteta's first-team plans and has just 244 minutes in the league for his new club.

Arteta opted to start the midfielder and play him for 82 minutes in his team's 3-0 FA Cup third-round win against Oxford United on 9 January. He provided two assists in the game, which clearly pleased the Spanish tactician.

Arteta said after the game (h/t official club website):

"I was really happy. Obviously, he contributed in a big way to win the game. That's his quality: to create goals, to decide games in the final third and he had two really good moments that helped us win the game."

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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