Arsenal are set to raid the Stade de Velodrome in the coming weeks for young center back Stephane Sparagna.
The 19 year old France U-20 International is one of Marseilles’ hot new sensations and with the situation of his contract favouring a move away from the club, Arsenal have been alerted about the possibility of him being signed.
The youngster was previously considered one of Marseille’s stars of the future but the Ligue 1 club have dragged their feet on offering him a new deal, because of his poor injury record.
But that hasn’t put off Arsenal, with La Marseillaise newspaper saying the Gunners have made an offer to lure Sparagna to the Emirates before the end of the year.
Sparagna, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, is yet to sign a new deal at Marseille with his youth contract set to run out in December. Though highly rated and seen as one of the blooming breed of young talented defenders in France, Sparagna has been dubbed the ‘new Mathieu Flamini’ by the French media.
His unrelenting injury issues have put question marks over the rectitude of a new professional contract being offered to him by the Marseille bosses, hence the delay thus far. The youngster is yet to make more than two first team appearances this season, his last game in the Ligue 1 being on August the 9th against Bastia. His need to develop his game better with more regular opportunities on the pitch to grow into the likes of fellow Frenchmen Rafael Varane and Aymeric Laporte could see him desire that move abroad.
Wenger could smell blood in this ongoing development and could be encouraged to pounce even before January, as the young hotshot is indeed not short in terms of parties interested in taking his services, both Rennes and Udinese have expressed a curiosity in Sparagna’s current situation.
Such situations like this won’t be alien to Arsene Wenger as he did capture Mattiue Flamini 10 years ago from the same Marseille as a teenager as the club were then unable to offer him a professional contract, giving Wenger the go-ahead to smash in and cart away. Pulling a déjà vu with Sparagana will even be more sensational as football’s progression over the years is expected to make such situations more difficult to pull off.
Sparagna’s build and appearance makes him appear somewhat beyond his years, his 6 ft 1in frame giving him the physical qualities his game demands. An impressive technical skill set means he can also fulfill the co-ordinative duties of a defensive midfielder, while still using his body as an advantage.
Of concern to gooners, though, will be Sparagna’s injury record. Having signed Yaya Sanogo last season on a free from Auxerre with a recognized injury record, the Frenchman has not been able to overcome a recurrence of injuries at one point to another. Abou diaby’s situation is already well documented and the fact he now plays the mentor role for Sanogo can tell a thing or two about Sanogo’s inclination to the treatment room.
Hopefully, Sparagna will come in with a better ability to adapt and improve.
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