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Crystal Palace youngster emerges as summer transfer target for Arsenal

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By Martin Graham | 23rd Feb 2022

Arsenal are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Michael Olise from Crystal Palace in the summer.

Crystal Palace signed the France U-18 international from Reading in the championship for £8 million. The youngster has had limited game time due to heavy rotation by Palace boss Patrick Vieira. However, he has shown incredible quality whenever he has been called up on.

The Eagles now face a fight to prevent the young winger from leaving Selhurst Park in the summer after reports surfaced that Arsenal, alongside other clubs, are interested in the France youngster.

Olise has played 18 matches for Crystal Palace in the Premier League with only six coming as a starter. He has scored only twice for the Eagles but there is plenty of excitement over the winger’s future, who signed on a long-term deal that expires in 2026.

Palace saw off strong competition to land Olise from the championship but will now be facing an uphill task as Arsenal, Chelsea, LOSC Lille, and German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich all keeping tabs on his availability.

Vieira is not interested in letting Olise go as he realises that the Eagles have a special talent in their hands. The winger’s gameplay has already seen the four national teams he is eligible to represent attempt to recruit him for the upcoming international matches.

However, Crystal Palace could make a killing on any transfer of the young winger away from Selhurst Park in the summer with his long-term contract sure to add to his valuation.

Arteta and Arsenal looking to right January transfer window wrongs

Arsenal fans were left incensed after Mikel Arteta failed to receive any new players into the Gunners squad ahead of the second half of the season after the January transfer window ended.

However, several reports have since claimed that Arsenal owner Stan kroenke and family, alongside Arsenal’s director of football Edu Gaspar with Mikel Arteta are working very hard to identify the best targets for the summer.

Their top priorities remain to strengthen the attack and the midfield and Michael Olise is now one of their targets as they look to build for the future starting in the summer.

Vieira has previously lavished praise on his young winger. “He can score goals, create chances and he is a special talent,” Vieira said earlier this month.

“He will improve and get better as a player. His work ethic every day has been terrific since he has been at the football club.

“There is still a long way to go. He still needs to improve some parts of the game but he is doing well and playing with a lot of confidence.

“His team-mates trust him a lot to give him the ball and that is a good sign, so he has to keep working and keep improving himself.”

Arsenal top four hopes hinges on two players, Rio Ferdinand claims

Rio Ferdinand gave an assessment of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal going into the second half of the season and claimed that their top-four hopes hinges on the performances of two of their youngsters.

He noted that Arteta would have to do all he can to keep Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe fit for the rest of the season if they are to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand said: “I think Saka and Smith Rowe, if anything happens to them they [Arsenal] are bang in trouble.

“ESR is doing his thing, I’ve loved him from the beginning of the season. I think he’s one other big clubs will be looking at.”

Ferdinand also opined that despite all the troubles surrounding Arteta’s as the Gunners’ boss, the Spaniard is doing a good job of creating an environment good enough for players to perform at their very best.

“I think Mikel Arteta is building something there, all jokes aside,” Ferdinand added.

“Mikel Arteta is creating an environment there that I feel players are going to want to play in.

“I feel the young players he’s got there who he’s building around are exciting.

“I think this window is going to be big for them, they’ve got to get it right, it depends where they finish and what type of player they’re going to have to go for.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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