New boy on the block: Arsenal after Carlos Castro capture
Arsenal (7/1 with Coral for a top four Premier League interest) have reportedly registered their interest in Spain Under-21 striking starlet Carlos Castro, who currently plies his trade in the Segunda Division for Sporting Gijon.
Talks between the Gunners and Gijon are said to be underway and could result in the 19-year-old arriving at Emirates Stadium this summer.
Portuguese media believe giants Benfica are keen to beat Arsene Wenger to the sought-after youngster’s signature, with the Eagles supposedly having sent scouts to watch the sharpshooter in action in Spain’s second-tier.
Teenage talent Castro is so highly-rated in his homeland, despite being yet to play a full 90 minutes in the league, that fans and pundits have likened the Gijon academy product to prolific former Barcelona and Valencia poacher David Villa.
Castro’s lauded craft, pace and skill, in addition to his natural instincts in the box, have apparently impressed Wenger, who is expected to overhaul his attack in the next transfer window.
Tipped for big things, top prospect Castro has scored seven in 20 league outings this term, making for a fine first season featuring in competitive senior football.
Capped just once so far for the Spain Under-21 team (whose senior counterparts are 6/1 to win Euro 2016), the potential future La Roja forward’s contract with his boyhood club expires in summer 2016. This means Arsenal could perhaps pick the poacher up for a nominal fee, with Gijon said to be resigned to losing their attacking asset.
For Castro to earn further Under-21 caps and make an impression, a move to taste top-tier football should surely be on the cards, though the Red and Whites are pushing hard for promotion.
While Castro could play it safe and wait to see how strongly Gijon end the season, Wenger can realistically offer a chance of fairly regular first team football, should the Spaniard impress.
Arsenal are expected to wave goodbye to Germany hitman Lukas Podolski, who has failed to adapt to life at the Emirates and is struggling on a temporary stint at Inter Milan, which should leave squad space.
Doubts also surround fleet-footed forward Theo Walcott’s future, with Liverpool said to be circling the contract rebel, while on-loan Yaya Sanago and Joel Campbell could also depart permanently.
The Gunners are unlikely to start next season with just Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck as their only pure centre forward options, so a youngster with huge promise such as Castro could compliment the pair well, and appears to be part of Wenger’s plan.