A new name has been added to the potential shortlist for Arsenal to try and sign this summer – Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica.
Similar to Borussia Dortmund, but in a less than surprising manner, Benfica seems like a team that’s been holding on to talent a lot of teams around Europe are interested in for the last few seasons, and after exposing themselves a bit too much lately, might be forced to sell some of its best players, with Gaitan at the top of the list.
The Argentine playmaker who prefers working his way from the left wing has probably been the team’s best player over the last couple of seasons, at least when it comes to his creativity and passing. He finished with 5 goals and 12 assists this season, which according to A Bola has drawn the interest of Arsenal, among other major European teams.
Gaitan isn’t going to come cheaply, with the €45 million release clause in his contract, not to mention being signed until 2016 which puts Benfica in a situation that doesn’t put them in any hurry. Arsenal could do with someone like Gaitan, considering their weakness on the wings this season, especially on the left side, although their 4-3-3 might have to change a bit to accommodate the talents of Gaitan and make the best of him.
Gaitan has been with Benfica for the past three seasons, scoring 18 goals and adding 38 assists in 136 matches, leading the team to three straight second place finishes behind Porto. He arrived at the club from Boca Juniors, signed for €8.4 million.
Gaitan is one of a few Benfica players getting a lot of interest from around Europe, joining Nemanja Matic who is followed by Chelsea, Ezequiel Garay which United are quite intrigued by for a very long time and Oscar Cardozo, who seems to be on his way out every summer, but this time more than ever.