Arsenal opinion: Emery shouldn’t swap young duo for Wan-Bissaka
The Daily Mail has reported that Arsenal are interested in using both Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles plus cash to get Crystal Palace star Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The 21-year-old right-back has been phenomenal for the Eagles so far this season, flourishing under manager Roy Hodgson.
This has seen the likes of Manchester City (Sun), Manchester United (Sun) and even Bayern Munich (Daily Mail) enter the race. But Arsenal, it seems, are willing to go over and above to get their man, offering two bright youth prospects plus cash for the young Crystal Palace full-back.
That should come as no surprise to anyone, given the North London side’s injury issues this season. Both Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding have endured season-ending ACL tears, and while Laurent Koscielny has taken over from Holding, it’s Bellerin’s spot that is in trouble.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is 35 years old and has struggled to cope with the pace of the Premier League. That has seen Ainsley Maitland-Niles take over, and do so successfully.
However, despite all their issues at right-back, offering both Nelson and Maitland-Niles make no sense, no matter how well Wan-Bissaka has played.
Both the Arsenal stars have done very well when called upon, with Maitland-Niles showcasing his versatility this season. The 21-year-old has played as a right-back, left-back, right-winger and even as a central midfielder for the club.
Nelson, on the other hand, has had a great season on loan with Hoffenheim before issues with injuries and disciplinary problems saw him get dropped from the squad. Despite that, the 19-year-old forward still has six goals to his name, and is among Hoffenheim’s top scorers.
A large majority of those goals have been scored off the bench, which shows just how much the teenage star has improved. However, a move would be detrimental to both sides, as Wan-Bissaka wouldn’t be an immediate first-team star.
The Crystal Palace star is at the stage of his career where he needs first-team football to grow even more, while the same applies to both Nelson and
Maitland-Niles. The latter has been getting regular football at Arsenal and has proven his skill despite being played out of position.
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Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a class act but a move to Arsenal won’t be good for his career. At the moment, Hector Bellerin rules the right-back slot and what the Gunners need is more of a second-choice star who can give the Spaniard a run for his money.