Reports have emerged claiming that, if Arsenal lose out to Liverpool, Manchester United or Juventus in the race to sign Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez, then they will consider a surprise move for the Chile international’s club teammate Bojan Krkic.
Once widely regarded as the most promising young player on the planet, the mere thought of Liverpool target Bojan being regarded as an alternative for the world-class Sanchez by Arsene Wenger is enough to leave just about every Arsenal fan in a cold sweat. And they could be forgiven for feeling that way, too.
Bojan: Unfulfilled talent
Bojan, quite simply, isn’t anywhere near close to being good enough for Arsenal. The reason he was so highly rated at the Camp Nou was because of the staggering amount of goals he scored for the club’s youth teams - believed to be around the 900 mark - while growing up in La Masia. But he found the step up to senior football extremely difficult, largely because of his diminutive stature.
Lionel Messi is proof that being 5ft 7in tall is no barrier to becoming a world-class footballer, but Bojan - who is the same height - has struggled with the physical side of the game. Now 23, the forward is still often overpowered by defenders during matches, and his fortunes are unlikely to improve by making a surprise switch to the physically-demanding Premier League.
Bojan has failed in Spain, Italy and Netherlands
After failing to make the grade at Barcelona, Bojan was shipped off to AS Roma, where he scored seven goals in 37 appearances. He then joined AC Milan, where he was even less clinical - scoring just three goals in 27 matches.
He subsequently moved to the Netherlands, where Ajax boss Frank de Boer handed him the chance to resurrect his career. And while he managed to help the club win another Eredivisie title, the fact that he netted just five goals in 32 appearances suggests that he may never become the superstar everyone presumed he would when he burst onto the scene around 2007.
Video: Can Bojan ever live up to the hype?
Arsenal must sign Sanchez
Missing out on Sanchez this late in the day would be a crushing blow for Arsenal and their expectant supporters. Yes, they have stars who play in the same position, but Sanchez is a world-class winger who would inject some serious class into the Gunners’ squad, while simultaneously boosting the team’s chances of winning next season’s Premier League title.
Whoever Arsenal bring in as an alternative for Sanchez wouldn’t be at the Chilean’s level. Bojan, a man trapped in a boy’s body, most certainly isn’t. The gulf in class is significant, and it seems very unlikely that Bojan will be plying his trade at a top European club next season.
Sanchez, on the other hand, will be. But will he be at the Emirates Stadium or somewhere else come the start of the 2014-15 campaign?