According to The Sun, Austrian starlet Xaver Schlager has issued a come-and-get-me plea to Arsenal, with the report claiming that the 21-year-old has revealed Emirates as his dream destination in the years to come.
Schlager has only just completed a £13million move to German Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg from Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg but the Austrian international has kept his admiration for Arsenal no secret, claiming that it would be a great honour to don the jersey somewhere down the line in his career. (h/t Sun)
The 21-year-old, who already has 11 senior international caps for Austria under his belt, represented his nation at the recently-concluded 2019 UEFA U21 European Championship earlier this summer after guiding RB Salzburg to their fourth consecutive domestic title this past season.
Schlager racked up 8 goals and 4 assists in 44 appearances across all competitions for Salzburg the last term and also played a key role in the club’s Europa League campaign.
As a matter of fact, the youngster was one of the key driving forces behind Salzburg’s impressive run to the semi-finals of the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League, where they eventually lost out to Marseille.
In all competitions till date, Schlager has accumulated 11 goals and 11 assists in 107 appearances, 24 of which have come in the Europa League.
A technically-gifted and tactically-versatile left-footed central midfielder, Schlager is virtually capable of playing in any role in the middle of the park. Essentially a central midfielder by trade, he was used in attacking, defensive as well as wide attacking roles in the midfield at Salzburg.
While Schlager has the energy, stamina, work-rate, drive, determination and the ball-winning ability of a box-to-box withdrawn playmaker, the Austrian also boasts of the technical ability, natural finesse, creativity, vision, agility and the awareness to play in a No.10 role behind the striker.
The 21-year-old averaged 2.9 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.4 key passes per game in the Europa League to go with a pass accuracy percentage of 77.9, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded attributes as a central midfielder.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal should respond to the midfielder’s plea and start keeping close tabs on his progress because the Austrian prodigy seemingly has all the qualities to be the next Aaron Ramsey in North London.
The Welshman’s departure has left an unfathomable void in the Gunners’ midfield. While a move for Schlager definitely won’t be possible this summer, Arsenal should start monitoring his development closely, now that he is in one of the top five European leagues.
Blessed with the innate ability to find the spaces in the final third, whilst also possessing the stamina to press the opposition off the ball and win possession back for his team. Clearly, Schlager is a tailor-made attacking midfielder for Unai Emery’s philosophy at Arsenal.
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The 21-year-old’s come-and-get-me plea is a reminder that Arsenal still have the pulling power to attract top-quality talent from anywhere across the world.
Furthermore, it would be a sign that the club’s failure to challenge for silverware in the Champions League – or the Premier League – over the past decade hasn’t necessarily eroded the reputation of the badge.