It is not often that a League One player becomes one of the most sought after signings but that is what is happening with Arsenal target Joe Aribo.
In addition to our interest, the Charlton Athletic midfielder is now on the radar of Manchester City, Celtic, Rangers, Southampton and Rennes, according to a variety of reports.
The Addicks themselves are desperate to hang on to the 22-year-old who’s contract expires in the summer, however, with so many clubs interested, including at least two in the Champions League, possibly three with us, then it is hard to see how they will hang on to the youngster.
Aribo has had a stellar season and even though he is playing in a lower league he has shown more than enough to interest so many top-flight clubs.
Our interest has been well documented and even acknowledged by the Charlton manager Lee Bowyer who said,
“We are trying our hardest to get Joe to sign a contract.
“The speculation with Arsenal, if that is the case, shows we have done a good job with him.
“He was hardly playing last season, now he has got teams like Arsenal supposedly looking at him.”
Aribo certainly fits the profile of the sort of player that we want to sign, he is in the mould of Aaron Ramsey with his driving runs and best of all, he comes without a transfer fee.
But if we are to sign him we will need to offer him more than what our competitors can offer, which is a promise of regular first team football at the highest level which makes winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League critical if we are to persuade the youngster to sign for us.
If I was to hazard an educated guess I would say that we are probably the front runners to sign the lad but it is far from certain at this stage.