Arsenal are watching Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan closely ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports in Spain.
Marca report that Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are closely watching Joan Jordan of Sevilla, joining Juventus in showing an interest in the midfielder.
Jordan had similar offers in 2019 with Eibar, including plenty of reports linking him to Arsenal. At the time, Marca claim he decided to join Sevilla because they’d give him the chance to grow, but it’s possible he’ll now consider a departure.
The 26-year-old had a €15m release clause with his old club, but it was raised to €50m when he joined Sevilla. It’s not unheard of for Arsenal to spend that kind of money (see Thomas Partey), but perhaps in this case they’d be looking to negotiate the price down.
The reason Jordan’s name is coming up again is that he’s having a great season with Sevilla, who are fourth in La Liga and made it to the Champions League last-16 as well as the Copa Del Rey semi-finals.
The midfielder has made 42 appearances, scoring twice and assisting a further seven goals. Marca call him the “engine” of the Sevilla team, capable of escaping pressure and driving up the field. That’s a profile Arsenal could certainly use.
ARTETA: WE HAVE TO BE PATIENT WITH MARTINELLI
When Arsenal face Sheffield United this evening, we’ll be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe.
It opens up a slot on the left flank that many supporters believe Gabriel Martinelli should fill.
Since returning from injury the Brazilian has played just 377 minutes across 12 games, five of which have been starts. More recently, he’s been feeding off scraps at the end of games.
It’s been a tough time for the 19-year-old who, despite being on crutches at the start of the season, was probably hoping to burnish the reputation he earned last year as one of football’s biggest teenage prospects.
Ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane, Mikel Arteta was asked about the clamour for Martinelli to play.
“That I understand,” he said. “When the team is not winning enough football matches, we always look for someone else to do it. But we can name a few of those.
“I respect that, and Gabi is doing really well. He is doing better every day, he is getting the right development.
“We have to be a little bit patient with him but he has a bright future at the club and he will have all the opportunities that he needs to show us how good he is and the career he can have with us.”
It appears some of the reticence to field Martinelli alongside the likes of Smith Rowe, Saka and Odegaard is down to an unwillingness to pile further pressure on the youngsters. Whether the boss believes that or it’s just a decent public-facing excuse for other behind-the-scenes reasons is up for debate.
All the same, he added: “Because we cannot put six or seven young kids out there. We need some cohesion, we need the timing.
“Gabi has a lot of things to improve. He has got big qualities as well, and we have other players in those positions.
“Then we have to create links within the team and balance within the team. This will come.”
Eddie Nketiah edges closer to Arsenal exit after Balogun update
The Athletic were one of many outlets to report that Folarin Balogun is closing in on a new contract with Arsenal on Friday, which certainly appears to have consequences for the club’s other promising youth striker in Eddie Nketiah.
The Athletic wrote that Nketiah could well be “the odd man out”, with Gabriel Martinelli also under contract until 2024 (with an option for a further year after that). Nketiah’s own deal only lasts until 2022, and he’s struggled for games recently.
This is just speculation, but it’s worth noting that Balogun and Nketiah are both represented by the same agency – Elite Project Group. If Balogun is now willing to extend, it’s possible that’s because he knows Nketiah might be edging towards an exit.
From an Arsenal point of view, this is certainly the time to either extend or sell. If they don’t think they can offer Nketiah regular games next season, even an extension may well be followed by a loan move away from the club, opening up chances for Balogun.
But more likely, Nketiah will be on the hunt for a new club. He’s played just 100 minutes of senior football in 2021, and it’s hard to imagine the goodwill is still there for an extension and another loan spell.
Scoring five goals and assisting one despite his limited minutes this season, there should be suitors for the England u21s’ record goalscorer if he does decide to move on.