Arsenal may finally be on the brink of signing the all-consuming destroyer of a defensive midfielder that many think the squad has been lacking since Gilberto Silva left the club in 2008.
According to reports, the club have lodged enquiries with FK Dinamo Tirana regarding 21-year old Dritan Munkhbold. Little is known about Munkhbold outside of local circles (he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page! Imagine!), but reports indicate that the Albanian international was found abandoned on the steps of a chapel somewhere in Stoke-on-Trent in his youth. Growing up in a home for foundlings, young Dritan showed a fondness for two things: football (he was known to juggle a ball on his foot endlessly from age two) and torturing the local population of sparrows, often to the point of their demise. At age three, his Albanian parents adopted him, brought him to Tirana, and Munkhbold never looked back.
On the pitch, Munkhbold has shown a lot of potential in the center of midfield. No less a personage that Lorik Cana has noted the ability Munkhbold has to anticipate the direction and particular flavor potential of opposition attacks:
"Dritan is a tremendous talent. He has that rare ability, especially for one so young, to snuff out (often literally, admittedly) the opponent's attack and find the perfect vegetable and beer pairing for all cuts of human flesh. I cannot recall seeing in either Albania or England a player so young with so much ability."
A potential concern, of course, is Munkhbold's disciplinary record. Surprisingly, he has only been sent off in one professional match, and that occurred last year for dissent, after he argued with a match official about whether Bernaise was the strongest option for a sauce with which to garnish a recently-deceased trequartista's gall bladder. Munkhbold received a total of 14 yellow cards over the course of last season, however, most of which were related to manslaughter.
When reached for comment, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, "Of course, we know little bit about the boy, and I admire his capabilities as a player, but we have already Arteta and Coquelin, and the culinary aspect of things at the club are sharp at the moment." Still, it will be interesting to watch over the next day if Arsenal decide to make a move for the player, thought to be valued at roughly 15 million Euros, which would smash the transfer record for both Albanian players and noted consumers of human flesh (the current record being, of course, the 3.5 million pounds that Hull City paid for Stephen Hunt).
We'll have any more breaking news for you as it happens. Stay tuned.