Teenage beanpole Sadiq Umar is rumoured to be the latest recruit as Arsenal’s raid on the Nigerian youth ranks continues.
Having procured Super Eagles’ Under-17 stars Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze, the Gunners are poised to move for Umar and are reportedly willing to spend big to land their target.
The Spezia striker, currently on loan at Roma (who have no doubt muscled in on any future profits the Serie B minnows make on his sale) will cost up to £16m it is alleged and the fact that Arsene Wenger is contemplating paying up alone should be enough to convince people of his ability.
Roma certainly aren’t in doubt about it, entrusting the 19-year-old to start twice in Serie A this term, while ushering him in from the bench on four further occasions.
Six-foot-six Umar repaid the faith with two goals. His senior strikes compliment a prolific season in the Giallorossi youth ranks, where he has struck 16 goals in 17 outings and still found time to assist seven more.
As a striker, he embodies all the physical qualities of an archetypal target man, but his rangy, spider-leg-like limbs enable him to cover vast quantities of ground quickly, meaning he can be deployed as a link player, or to stretch opposition defences.
At present, Arsenal lack a forward skilled in both trades. Danny Welbeck is arguably the closest they have, but the England international lacks the deadeye accuracy required of a frontman who is going to threaten in the upper echelons of the scoring charts.
Given the much-heralded high-quality of Italian defences, for a rookie like Umar to be scoring at a rate of one goal every three appearances suggests he isn’t short in the sharpshooting department either.
He boasts all the raw qualities of a complete frontman and there’s no better wing to get under than that of master-moulder Arsene Wenger if the Nigerian giant wishes to hone his talents.