This season aside, there’s not many things Arsenal can claim to have done better than Manchester United in the last few years. Offering plenty of first-team experience to young stars looking to make a name for themselves in the game would be one.
Whilst United can lay claim to having honed the skills of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, it’s their north London rivals - and more specifically their long-serving coach Arsene Wenger - who are synonymous with taking an impressive young player, putting them in the Emirates machine and churning out a burgeoning superstar. It’s for this reason, amongst others such as Champions League football and a higher domestic finish, that the Gunners will surely have the upper hand when it comes to enticing starlets this summer.
Traditionally United and Arsenal have waged many a transfer battle over a budding talent, and this summer looks set to be no different. No sooner had the rumours begun to surface that Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata would be looking to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, than both Premier League giants were linked with moves for him. In fact as recently as last month the pair were supposedly set to engage in a battle to convince him where his future lies, if not in Spain’s capital.
On Arsenal’s part a potential proposal is ambitious, but not at all a wayward idea. Above all else this season it has become abundantly clear that Wenger’s side can’t hope to take their game to the next level without a prolific striker to lead the way. Their side is classy, creative and built with the intentions of playing immaculately attractive football, but they can’t hope to maintain parity with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool with regards to competing for major trophies, without a striker who can be relied upon to find the net on a regular basis.
As for United’s speculated interest, it’s as downright bizarre as it is far off the mark in terms of what they actually need. Already boasting an enviable pairing of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie who, when fit, remain two of the best forwards in the world, and backing them up with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, one fails to see exactly how Morata would fit into David Moyes plans.
What’s more there’s then the step down in competition the youngster would be taking upon himself were he to sign on at Old Trafford. No disrespect to United intended, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they will make Champions League football. This in itself won’t appeal to a player who has spent the entirety of his career under the dazzling lights at Madrid.
Common sense would dictate that Morata himself would be well aware that Arsenal is the better destination if he intends to jump from Carlo Ancelotti’s high-flying ship. The youngster is fighting for a starting place at Los Blancos but with the best will in the world it’s ultimately a futile gesture. With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and the currently injured Jese all ahead of him in the pecking order - as well as Madrid keen on bringing in another high-profile forward at the end of the season - his future there looks very bleak indeed.
Arsenal could guarantee him game time, promise him the main role ahead of a midfield which contains the passing abilities of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla and develop him into a better player. Will Wenger move to convince him of such though?