Romano hands Arsenal MAJOR boost in Jorginho replacement pursuit

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 1 Apr 2024 16:31 BST
  • 3 min read
Jorginho, Arsenal, 2023/24

Arsenal’s chances of signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi have reportedly increased following Xabi Alonso’s decision to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

Alonso, 42, has confirmed that he will remain at Leverkusen for the 2024-25 season, despite huge interest from both Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

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According to Fabrizio Romano, Bayern had identified Zubimendi as their priority target in the event that Alonso replaced Thomas Tuchel in the Allianz Arena dugout.

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However, they have cooled their interest following Alonso’s commitment to Leverkusen and while the Spain international is still admired by the Bavarians’ hierarchy, a summer pursuit will be up to Tuchel’s successor.

As a result, Arsenal are set to have a fairly free run at Zubimendi this summer.

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Is Martin Zubimendi the perfect Jorginho replacement?

Declan Rice’s recent move further forward means there is a place for the Real Sociedad star in Arsenal's current starting XI.

Jorginho has started the Gunners’ past four Premier League matches, but his contract is due to expire this summer and he has been linked with a move to Barcelona and back to Serie A.

Thomas Partey may also leave the Emirates Stadium, which could free up funds and space for Zubimendi.

Martin Zubimendi, Real Sociedad
© IMAGO - Martin Zubimendi, Real Sociedad

The 25-year-old is the perfect replacement for Jorginho, with the two both possessing calmness in possession and a slight weakness defending large spaces. However, with Rice also in midfield, Zubimendi’s weaknesses should be covered up and he will be able to display his full array of passing, just like Jorginho has been able to in 2024.

Data analytics experts SciSports believe that Zubimendi’s potential is higher than Jorginho’s current ability, meaning Arsenal would be signing a fantastic player if they are able to agree a deal with Real Sociedad.

Given Romano’s latest update, it’s certainly possible that Zubimendi will be heading to north London this summer and he could prove key as Mikel Arteta looks to build on Arsenal’s immense growth over the past year.

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