Arsenal’s move for Henry Onyekuru has reportedly been reignited with talks progressing regarding a £6.8 million move. The potential addition is a no-lose scenario for the Gunners.
The signing of young players is an approach that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are extremely well-versed in. Throughout his 21-year tenure at the club, Wenger has always prioritised the acquisition and development young players over the signing of big-name, established stars that are far more expensive and difficult to manage.
It is a strategy that can be extremely turbulent and frustrating; young players suffer from huge peaks and troughs in form, and their inconsistencies can cause great friction from the fan base and from the manager himself.
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But there is also great reward to come from the approach. Signing the players is often much cheaper when they are at a younger age, you are able to mould them into the type of player that you want them to be, including entrenching them in a role, providing them with the necessary experience, opportunity and teaching to understand the system with great detail.
The latest young starlet that Wenger is being linked with is Henry Onyekuru. Initial reports surfaced in late May linking the Gunners with a possible move for the young striker, but the trail went cold as rumours continued to build surrounding possible moves for Kylian Mbappe and Alexandre Lacazette. Given the greater stature of their names, there was less media coverage focused on Onykeuru and his potential North London switch.
However, on Saturday morning, it was revealed that talks are ongoing between Arsenal and KAS Eupen regarding a possible £6.8 million transfer and that Onyekuru has been granted access to a work permit in the UK, an underrated complication in deals that can scupper them, as Wenger himself has experienced just this summer with Takuma Asano.
The possible addition of Onyekuru is not one that is especially groundbreaking or significant. He is not a well-known player with an esteemed reputation. He has not established himself or proven his calibre. Neither has he been able to publicise his name like fellow young starlets Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele.
However, that does not mean that Onyekuru is a bad signing. He is a cheap addition with a high ceiling and Arsenal have very little to lose whatsoever.