Arsenal may need to find a new young wing player with the rumblings about Manchester City and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain growing louder as the upcoming transfer window approaches. The Gunners may have found him in Goncalo Guedes, a twenty year old Portuguese national who currently plays for Benfica.
Arsenal sent scouts to watch Guedes during Benfica’s 1-0 victory against Estoril. In two years with the senior team Guedes has scored five goals in thirty-seven appearances, with two goals in fourteen appearances during the current campaign. PSG is also interested in Guedes’ services and they are willing to pay £27 million to bring him to Paris. Several publications also reported that Manchester United watched Guedes in October so it would not be surprising if Guedes leaves Benfica (who are currently leading the Primeira Liga in Portugal).
Guedes plays on the wing so it would be a seamless if Ox leaves. However, the Ox has significantly more experience than Guedes and has similar production so far this season. Guedes is a promising talent who could have a long career at Benfica should he decide to stay. It is worth noting that Benfica has finished at or near the top of the Portuguese premier division for several consecutive seasons. The Primeira Liga does not have the level of talent that the Premier League does. The experience Ox has could prove to be more valuable than Guedes’ youth.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about his admiration for Ox. Ahead of the match against Everton he said,
“This season he is making steps, he is moving forward and overall when you invest so much time and work and the player has as well [you want him to stay]. I think the player loves it here. He is integrated with the qualities we want him to have and overall I want him to stay.”
Reports have indicated that Arsenal will not spend much during the upcoming transfer window. We will have to see if the Gunners are willing to let Ox go and fight for Guedes’ services or if Ox will sign a new contract.