It is always helpful to Arsenal when a player that they have actively targeted comes out and admits publicly that he wants to play in the Premier League and even mentions the club by name.
That is exactly what has happened with Belgium international Yannick Carrasco, who currently plies his trade with Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.
Arsenal apparently came close to signing the winger back in January but the move collapsed at the last minute due to Dalian Yifang blocking any deal, however, the player is now desperate to move back to Europe and is hoping he can persuade the clubs president to sanction a move.
Speaking to the English media Carrasco said: “There was interest from Arsenal and I had a lot of teams in January giving me the chance to go back to Europe, but here the president said it was difficult to go then.
“Maybe this summer it is possible. If it is a good thing and I want to go, maybe I can speak with the president.
“I try to do my best because I am a professional for my team, after we can think about a solution. If I have a lot of teams who want me but the president decides I have to stay, I cannot do anything.
The big issue for Carrasco is that his wife has left China to be closer to work, family and friends in Belgium and this is now having an effect on the player.
“All that you want is to be close to your family, and to go back to Europe is a good solution, said the 26-year-old
“I’m OK here, the club is good with me, the players and fans also are nice with me.
“But you know, when you are far from your family, and I think I can do good things in the European game, I am thinking it’s a solution if I can go back.”
“My wife spent the first year with me, but this year she is back in Belgium and she comes for a short stay and then goes back.
“When we play, we go two days before the game, and when you play away you come back the day after the game.
“Four days me being out of the home for one game was very difficult for her, and also she needs to be in Belgium doing work for herself.
Carrasco spoke about why he would like to play in the Premier League, why the English game would suit his style of play and what he can offer clubs.
“All the people know England is one of the best championships in the world, it’s a big competition.
I think I can play in a lot of competitions in the world, I can attack and also I can defend
“The players who play in the Premier League tell me it is a physical league, strong, but you also have a lot of space.
“Sometimes when you play in other countries you do not have a lot of space but in England it is open, the play is up and down the pitch.
“That would suit me. I think I can play in a lot of competitions in the world, I can attack and also I can defend.
“With the national team I play as a winger, but also I can play in behind. England would be a good competition for me. I think I would be OK.
“If I have the opportunity to go to England, why not?
“I don’t think if you play in China you lose your quality. You see Paulinho when he went to Barcelona. He stayed a lot of years in China, but he went to Barca and did well, and he played the national team and he did well.
“Now you see Axel Witsel with Dortmund, he stayed for one year in China and he also did very well with Dortmund.
“Why not me? I need to have something. I try to find a solution to be nearer my family?”
It is fairly clear from his comments that he wants to leave China and his preference is for England, it is also noticeable that he mentions Arsenal.
Now, that could just be him laying out the facts and have no motive in naming us but at the same time it could easily be his way of saying to us that I want out, you wanted me back in January, please try again.
On the face of it, this is good news because Carrasco is definitely a good player, I have seen him play a few times and the video below highlights some of his strengths. He would be a good signing for us and I will be keeping an eye on this one for sure.
This is one particular piece of speculation that has tons of credibility simply because the player himself is on record making his intentions abundantly clear.