Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was so impressed with Anderlecht midfielder Dennis Praet on Tuesday night that he's ready to revive his long-term interest in the Belgian wonderkid, a technically gifted playmaker referred to in his homeland as the next Marco Reus.
Praet was on trail at Arsenal as a 16-year-old, but made the difficult decision to snub their advances at that stage, a mature decision motivated by a desire to finish his education in Belgium.
Anderlecht's academy deserves its strong reputation for producing players capable of shining in Europe's top leagues, but is Praet ready to join countrymen Vincent Kompany, Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard in the Premier League.
€10 million asking price too steep?
Wenger is a huge admirer of Praet and has got a reminder of just why the youngster first found his way onto Arsenal's radar in the Champions League this season, with the 20-year-old showing very impressive distribution and intelligence to match a reported €10 million price tag in two games against the Gunners over the last fortnight.
Praet was particularly effective in Tuesday night's 3-3 draw at the Emirates, playing the full 90 minutes in a traditional number 10 role and regularly supplying the ammunition for a pacy Anderlecht counter attack.
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Could Praet replace Reus at Dortmund?
Former Anderlecht star Aad De Mos believes that Praet could even have the qualities to eventually replace Marco Reus at Borussia Dortmund.
In the report by Belgian newspaper HLN which reveals Arsenal, Napoli, Juventus, Genoa, Inter Milan and Valencia are all tracking Praet very closely De Mos is quoted as insisting that he has all the makings of a world-class player.
He insisted: Praet is the number 10 that every club is looking for. I am sure he can be a world beater, really convinced. When I saw Praet against Arsenal stop one ball by getting it in the air, I was reminded of Reus. He can be his successor."
Arsenal fans should definitely remember Praet's name and expect movement in this transfer chase, in January or next summer at the very latest.
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