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Arsene Wenger is reportedly lining up a move for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, if Sanchez leaves the club, according to The Sun.
The former Caen youth player was linked with a move to the club in 2012 after impressing during his debut campaign in Ligue 1 for Caen and apparently had a trial at Arsenal, but ultimately the Italian side acted with great haste to secure the deal.
The 22-year-old striker who can also play on the left wing is under contract until 2019 but seems eager to make the step towards the big leagues. The youngster currently €800k-a-year at the Serie A club.
According to reports, Arsenal have reportedly identified Niang as Alexis Sanchez’s potential replacement if the Chilean leaves in the summer. Sanchez is currently in the middle of a contract dispute, with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2018.
The Gunners are apparently keen to sign the striker, who is to some extent enjoying a renaissance under Vincenzo Montella at AC Milan.
Following a series of loans and unconvincing seasons in red and black, Niang is finally showing his potential this season with some exceptional performances on the right wing and up front for Montella’s men.
With 3 goals, 3 assists and 15 chances created for the Milan this season, it’s quite clear that the 22-year-old is trying hard, but hasn’t been able to get the consistency to match up to his talent and potential so far.
Niang is perfectly suited to the Premier League, as the athletic Frenchman is big, powerful, quick and has an abundance of ability. He’s everything a modern day Premier League defender dreads.
He does share a lot of traits with Sanchez and there are similarities but in every area, other than aerials won, Niang is inferior and it would be a downgrade for the Gunners. At least in the short-term. Arsenal have also been linked with Porto’s Andre Silva who may be a better-suited replacement.
Arsenal fans shouldn’t be put off the idea of signing Niang. He’s a good player who would suit the team. He’s just not a Sanchez replacement. He’s under contract until 2019 and Milan may want to cash in on him soon before the time remaining on his current deal starts to impact his evaluation.