As we reported to you earlier in the week, Arsenal is keeping tabs on Benfica winger Andrija Živković. The 21-year-old has become an integral part of Benfica’s first team this season, attracting much attention from many Premier League clubs. In fact, the youngster was also a part of the Benfica side that stormed their way to the Portuguese title last season, so he’s already proven that he has title-winning form in him.
According to FootMercato ( via football.london ), Arsène Wenger has stepped up his chase for the Serbian after sending scouts to watch him in their 5-1 win over Rio Ave last week. The same publication has stated that Manchester United scouts were also in attendance in that match as they have also made the 21-year-old a summer priority.
It’s no secret that Benfica has a track record of producing high-quality youngsters in the past, with them eventually moving to Old Trafford. The likes of Angel Di Maria, Victor Lindelöf & Nemanja Matic, who have all come from Benfica, have all found themselves playing for Manchester United at some time.
Reports in Portugal suggest that the winger has a £52.5million release in his contract, a fee that both Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly ready to meet in the summer. And it is possinle that a lower fee could be accepted if the youngster were to hand in a transfer request.
The truth is, Arsenal must bid for the youngster before Manchester United as they severely need him more. The 21-year-old is a winger but has found himself playing mostly in central midfield this season, a position Arsenal is understocked in. Manchester United, on the other hand,has the world’s most expensive midfielder at their club.
Andrija Živković himself may prefer a move to the Emirates over Old Trafford. Why? First of all, he’d receive much more playing time at Arsenal than Manchester United. Commercially, United are the biggest club in the world and the demands of players there are astronomically high. The Serbian wouldn’t be afforded much patience and at that age, youngsters need patience and the freedom to make mistakes without repercussions. Luke Shaw is the classic example of a young player that made a mistake and didn’t get a second chance, now he’s no longer touted as England’s best left-back.
Secondly, Arsène Wenger is a far better facilitator of young talents than José Mourinho. Arsène Wenger moulds and shapes them in line with his laissez-faire style of management in comparison to José’s cut-throat approach. At Arsenal, the Serbian would be afforded ample amounts of playing time as Arsenal are in need of bolstering in midfield. At Manchester United, Andrija Živković would be limited to appearances in the Carabao & FA Cup, something his talent deserves more than.