Could Banega be on his way to Arsenal?

Arsenal have been linked with Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega this summer, with new manager Unai Emery keen to renew acquaintances with a player he worked with in the past. Given the 29-year-old’s importance to Sevilla, there are many who believe a deal will never go through, but a past report from the Independent revealed the Liga side were shopping for his replacement.

Sevilla were trying to sign Swansea City midfielder Roque Mesa should they lose Banega and they confirmed his signing on Wednesday morning. Arsenal fans are now hoping the Independent’s prophecy comes true and they procure the signature of the Argentinean playmaker to boost their chances of finishing in the top-four next season.

Emery links could be a factor in deal going through

Banega only returned to Sevilla last summer after spending a year with Inter Milan, but he may be persuaded to move from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium if it’s to join his old manager. The 29-year-old has made 200 appearances under Unai Emery for Valencia (2009-12) and Sevilla (2014-2016), winning two Europa League titles, so he could be convinced to the Emirates.

Sevilla didn’t have the best season in 2017/18, finishing outside of the Europa League spots, so Arsenal can offer something the Spaniards can’t – European football in 2018/19. Banega has close allegiances to Sevilla as he’s made so many appearances for the Liga side, but the chance to play under a head coach who developed him in his early years could be a factor in a deal being completed.

According to reports in Spain, the new Arsenal boss has called up Banega to try and convince him. Clearly the pair have a solid relationship which could be beneficial to the Gunners next season if they renewed acquaintances this summer.

Banega would be an upgrade on Wilshere

Jack Wilshere recently confirmed he would be leaving Arsenal at the end of his contract, meaning the Gunners need to find a replacement ahead of the new season. Banega would be an upgrade on the English playmaker, having racked up more than 400 appearances in his career and 62 for Argentina.

The 29-year-old is a highly-rated playmaker and is coming off the back of an impressive campaign with Sevilla on a personal note. Banega contributed 10 goals last season, made 83 successful dribbles in La Liga and created 66 chances in the top flight too. He has more end product than Wilshere and infinitely more experience and will only cost £18m due to his release clause.

Could Arsenal land the midfielder this summer?

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Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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