Arsenal: Edu handed boost in Bamba pursuit

Arsenal have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Ibrahima Bamba to The Emirates in the January transfer window.

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Transfer Focus

That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Tutto Salernitana, who claim that, following a number of reports linking the Gunners with a move for the Italian defensive midfielder this winter, Vitória Guimarães SC would be willing to part with the 20-year-old for a figure in the region of €6m (£5.2m) – despite earlier claims the youngster is valued at around £26.5m.

However, Mikel Arteta’s side are not the only club believed to be tracking the midfielder, with Atalanta BC, Villarreal CF, US Salernitana and Paris Saint-Germain also reported to be keen, while Vitória are not thought to be against parting with Bamba in January – as long as they were to receive a satisfactory offer for the talent.

The next Tchouaméni

Considering the sheer amount of ability and potential for future development Bamba quite clearly possesses, it is not difficult to understand why Edu would be interested in a deal to bring the 20-year-old to The Emirates this winter.

Indeed, over his 12 Liga Portugal appearances so far this season, the £3m-rated talent has been in sensational defensive form, making an average of 2.7 tackles – the joint 14th-most in the league – 1.2 interceptions, 4.3 clearances and winning an astonishing 4.8 duels – at a success rate of 62% – per game.

However, it is not only in a defensive capacity in which the £2.5k-per-week youngster impresses, as he is also adept at launching attacks for his side, playing an average of 2.9 long balls, 1.5 chipped passes and completing 29.8 total passes – at a success rate of 85% – per game.

These returns see the player who journalist Zach Lowy dubbed “one to keep an eye on” and “intriguing” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.01, currently ranking him as Vitória’s fourth-best performer in the top flight of Portuguese football – playing a key role in his side getting off to a fantastic start to their 2022/23 campaign.

As such, with Bamba being a player who is excellent in his reading of the game, extremely strong in the tackle and more than capable of launching counter-attacks for his side, there are quite clear comparisons between the 20-year-old and Aurélien Tchouaméni – the 22-year-old who joined Real Madrid in a €100m (£85.3m) deal this summer.

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Indeed, the France international also excels in his anticipation, tackling and ball-playing, with the £126k-per-week defensive midfielder making an average of 1.8 interceptions, 2.3 tackles and playing 1.3 long balls per game over his 12 LaLiga fixtures this season.

As such, should Edu manage to get a deal over the line for Bamba in January, not only would the sporting director be landing Arsenal an incredibly promising young talent, but he could also have unearthed the next Tchouaméni at The Emirates – something that is sure to be an extremely exciting prospect for both supporters and Arteta alike.