It’s almost certain that we may never see Cristiano Ronaldo return to the Premier League again, and that’s good news for us who are not affiliated to Manchester United. And even more of a cause to rejoice is the possibility that the one who’s been dubbed as his younger alter ego, Goncalo Guedes, looks set to becoming to England soon, Arsenal and Liverpool the main rivals in the bid according to Express.
The Benfica playmaker has a whooping £40m buy-out clause in his contract and that may be regarded as overpriced for a yet unproven 17-year old but he’s not compared to Ronaldo for nothing, with him being regularly impressive with his technique in their academy there. Guedes is yet to make any senior appearance for the Benfica first team at the Estadio de la Luz but enough has been seen of him in the UEFA Youth League and with the Benfica B to encourage club officials over approaching the Portuguese champions over the player. Having declined to pay a meager £12m back in 2003 for Ronaldo, Wenger seems to be willing to take the risk on the unproven youngster.
It doesn’t appear he will have a free way to his heart as Liverpool have reportedly registered their interest in the player as well, but there are good reasons to be optimistic of our chances.
Wenger has had his history with missing out on youngsters who have gone on to become world beaters; Ibrahimovich, Yaya Toure, Drogba, Hazard, Kompany, to name a few. Having also missed out on a young Ronaldo from a decade ago, Wenger will be keen not to let this chap pass him by, especially with the reviews he’s already gaining with papers like O’Jogo in Portugal. Not only did Ronaldo’s impact in the Premier League propel United to three consecutive League titles at our expense, it will hurt more that we had actually discovered him before that match between Sporting and United, after which they got him.
In comparison to Liverpool, we’ve seen a lot more players come through the Arsenal youth systems over the last few years with great first team potential and that will be a strong point when our case is being argued. Steven Gerrard is the only one in the present Liverpool squad to have come through the ranks at Melwood, which does not really compare to Szczesny, Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, not to mention the likes of Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain who arrived as teenagers and have gone on to become regular first team members due to their grooming through the Arsenal systems.
Our performances this season and our current position on the log have raised the annual doubts over our reaching the Champions League next season but there is still enough games to go to suppose we could yet have our way again, possibly at Liverpool’s expense. Guedes may not be one of those we’ll rely on to have success in the competition but he can be sure to stand a chance of making appearances, as the likes of Maitland-Niles and Zelalem have done this term.
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