Arsenal are contemplating a bid for a second La Liga defender of this transfer window in an attempt to gazump a host of suitors for the services of Jose Luis Gaya.
Days after signing Villarreal centre-half Gabriel Paulista for £11.2m, the Gunners are plotting a second Spanish raid with a £13.5m, release clause-activating move for the teenage left-back.
Following rumours that the 19-year-old tops Arsene Wenger’s wishlist, bwin go 2/1 that he signs on at the Emirates by February 3rd.
Arsenal fans could be forgiven for harbouring trepidation surrounding this particular deal, after all the thought of the club chasing a left-sided youngster dubbed one of Spain’s brightest prospects not on the books of Real Madrid and Barcelona immediately conjurers images of Jose Antonio Reyes.
The north Londoners paid what was a club record £20m for the Sevilla star back in 2004, though he did little to justify his hefty price tag.
However, it appears Gaya is a bit grittier than his lightweight countryman, averaging 2.6 tackles per outing in La Liga this term, as well as 2.1 fouls.
He has exemplified plenty of attacking prowess this term too, laying on three assists in domestic action.
One of his initial demonstrations in this department, ironically, came on Arsenal turf, when he bagged his first Valencia goal during a 3-1 victory over Benfica in the Emirates Cup last summer.
His express pace was utilised to devastating effect here, as he glided up the left flank undetected to power a shot under the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Such attributes instantly render him an upgrade on current ancillary Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal, whose technical capability is undermined by turgid speed and a lack of aggression.
Gaya’s first-team chances, therefore, would be plentiful.