Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have been handed a massive blow as Manchester United has moved ahead in the race for Belgian wonderkid, Zakaria Bakkali.
Report according to Daily Star are suggesting that the youngster dubbed the ‘new Eden Hazard’ is said to have turned down a contract extension at PSV and is already looking forward to take a step further to a bigger club in his career, to fulfill the potential he is widely believed to possess in abundance. A potential move to Atletico Madrid was supposedly on the cards during the last summer window but fell through at the last minute.
United’s Dutch manager, Louis van Gaal, has a fibrous root of contacts in the Eredivisie and is probably counting on using this as the major tool to quash any maneuvers from anyone of one Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool with respect to landing Bakkali.
Much like their lead in the League, Chelsea had been the club in pole position to sign the youngster but it is now United who have sniffed in the front row. Arsenal have long been monitoring Bakkali’s situation without any congent move made as yet while Brendan Rodgers’s mass recruitment this season has basically made him involved with nearly every player available on the market.
Arsene Wenger will remember, without any glee, how he was priced out of Hazard by Chelsea, having initially identified the 21 year old from Lille, even before signing Gervinho his teammate then. Chelsea apparently offered to pay him more, splashing as much as £32m for him then – a fee which was not within our spending reach at the time. Though indifferent in his first season, Hazard has established himself as one of the most influential players in the Chelsea teams over the past 12 months, especially in the title-challenging squad this season. His ability to drift past players is not shared by many, though his goal statistics are still below par for one aspiring to be ranked next to Messi and Ronaldo, and a chance to get one of such players would be very pleasing to the Arsenal manager.
Though not selected as part of Belgium’s 23 to the World Cup in Brasil, Bakkali has already made his mark in the International stage despite being just a teenager. Starting off at the youth grade at Standard Liege where he gained prominence, he made the move to a more renowned League to hone his skills like most Belgian players have done over the years.
Upon gaining promotion to the first team at PSV, he didn’t waste any time in getting the world to pay attention to him, being now most famous as the youngest player ever to score an Eredivisie hat-trick at just aged 17. He is yet to feature this season in a League game, perhaps giving to leaf to the probability of one of the bidding clubs bringing him to England.
Wenger will continue to monitor the situation as the hallmark of his reign has been his irrevocable faith in the future. While he has plans to raise a core from within the club, we must not fail to also look to bring in the best of talents from around the world. Quick, energetic players of Bakkali’s quality are good complements for the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and other lads such as Benik Afobe who are on loan.
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