Why Man City should beat Arsenal to sign Alex Grimaldo in the summer
According to the Sun, Arsenal are keeping close tabs on Benfica’s former Spanish U21 left-back Alex Grimaldo. Spanish source Mundo Deportivo claims that Atletico Madrid are also keen on securing the services of the 23-year-old next summer.
In all honesty, Arsenal’s interest in Grimaldo is quite justified, with the Gunners in the hunt for a long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal who is out of contract in the summer.
A product of Barcelona’s youth system, Grimaldo established himself as a seasoned campaigner for the ‘B’ team of his boyhood club, racking up 10 goals and 15 assists from 127 appearances. Having failed to make his cut into the first-team due to stiff competition for places, the Spaniard made his move to Portugal with Benfica in December 2015 and he hasn’t looked back since then.
Grimaldo has played a key role for Benfica this season and his stellar run of form hasn’t gone unnoticed. The 23-year-old has registered 5 goals and 5 assists from 26 appearances in the Portuguese league and the UEFA Champions League, helping his team secure a Europa League round of 32 spot.
Standing at 5ft 7in with a diminutive frame, Grimaldo is a fast, agile, technically-gifted and a dynamic left-back who is capable of contributing equally to both the attack and the defence. The Spaniard boasts of exceptional close control in tight areas and he also has the ability to use his dribbling skills to get past the opposition’s full-backs.
To go with his technical abilities, he is also a very good passer who excels with his vision from the wide areas, creating chances with his deliveries into the box and picking out the holes to exploit the half spaces.
Blessed with good game-reading abilities, Grimaldo’s pace allows him to track back and close down the opposition. Comfortable in possession and a wonderful asset to the team in terms of work rate, the Spaniard is never afraid to stick his foot out when needed and he seldom gets his tackles wrong.
Furthermore, he is a set-piece specialist who has the knack of finding the net from anywhere within 30 yards.
To put things into perspective, Grimaldo has shown enough promise to take the next big step in his career and a move to the Premier League might just open the door for him to reach greater heights. In fact, he would be an ideal solution to Manchester City’s left-back conundrum.
The Cityzens found things way too easy in the Premier League last season but Pep Guardiola’s side are having to fight tooth and nail to hold off Liverpool’s challenge for the title this time around. They have a good enough side to challenge for silverware on all fronts but the left-back position continues to be a bit of bother for the manager.
The injury to Benjamin Mendy has forced Guardiola to use Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabian Delph as makeshift full-backs, a ploy that has proved to be costly for the Cityzens.
Neither of them has been able to exhibit the composure and positional awareness of a specialist full-back, prompting Guardiola to shift Aymeric Laporte to the left. The Frenchman has done a fair job but City still need more cover in that area to avoid a similar crisis next season.
Man City have the financial means to pull off big transfers and they should not hesitate to splash the cash and beat Arsenal to sign Grimaldo in the summer.