Arsenal are interested in Noa Lang as boss Mikel Arteta identifies alternative targets to Leeds United star Raphinha, and will hope the Club Brugge forward can outshine these past Dutchmen at the club.
Arteta has turned his attentions to the Jupiler Pro League in his quest to strengthen the attack ahead of returning to the Europa League. The Spaniard is determined to add key depth behind Bukayo Saka on the right-wing, with Nicolas Pepe again disappointing at the Emirates Stadium during last season.
Lang shone in Belgium’s top-flight and showed his potential in flashes during the Champions League group stage through 2021/22. The 23-year-old recorded nine goals and 15 assists in all competitions, with seven and 12 registered in league fixtures plus his only assist in Europe at Paris Saint-Germain.
Pepe, in contrast, offered just three goals and six assists, and recorded two strikes and created four in EFL Cup ties. His three Carabao Cup outings also returned 270 of his 951 minutes for the season, with the £72m club-record signing only featuring for 681 minutes across 20 games in the Premier League.
Arsenal are interested in Club Brugge ace Lang as Raphinha alternative
Now, Mundo Deportivo report Arsenal are interested in signing Lang from Club Brugge as Raphinha nears a move from Leeds to Chelsea. The Blues have an agreement in place with the Whites at £60m for the Brazilian, who remains waiting for Barcelona to signal their intent to contest for his signature.
Arteta will not wait for moves to the Camp Nou or Stamford Bridge to collapse, though, and has put Lang firmly on Arsenal’s radar. The Gunners boss considers the five-cap Netherlands international to be his ‘Plan B’ for attacking reinforcements, but could also face competition from Newcastle United.
Reports by The Athletic note the Magpies watched Lang in action last season as Eddie Howe targets new forwards. Talent spotters tracking the Capelle aan den Ijssel native would have also seen Lang strike his first international goal against Wales during the UEFA Nations League this June to win 3-2.
Arsenal have long been aware of Lang’s potential, having shown interest in the Club Brugge forward in January. Voetbal24 noted the Gunners studied a €30m (£25.5m) offer, but faced a €40m (£34.5m) asking price. Yet Gazzetta dello Sport now report a €22m (£19m) valuation, with AC Milan very keen.
Lang would be Arsenal’s first signing from Club Brugge if Arteta advances his interest in the sought-after attacker. The gaffer would also be hoping the right-footed dynamo outshines these Dutchmen to play for the Gunners and follow Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie in boasting lengthy careers…
Arsenal would hope Lang is no Helder repeat amid Arteta’s interest
Arsenal would hope Lang does not prove to be a repeat of Glenn Helder amid Arteta’s interest in the Club Brugge winger. The Gunners handed Helder his first – and only – move to England from Vitesse Arnhem in 1995. Yet he would only spend two years in north London before returning to Holland.
Helder also left Highbury on loan for the second half of the 1996/97 campaign with Benfica before a permanent move to NAC Breda. The left-sided forward’s Arsenal career ultimately featured just 46 games across all competitions for one goal and one assist, whilst recording just 31 starts at the club.
Barazite failed to step up from youth level football after England move
Nacer Barazite secured his move to England with Arsenal in 2006 when Arsene Wenger raided NEC Nijmegen’s U17 side for the attacking midfielder. But the Arnhem native failed to make the step up to the first-team in north London, ultimately leaving the Gunners in 2011 after only three senior outings.
His first-team minutes also totalled just 46 and all occurred during EFL Cup ties between loans with Derby County and Vitesse. Former Netherlands U21 prospect Barazite’s career would also then go on to include Austria Vienna, AS Monaco, FC Utrecht, Yeni Malatyaspor, Al-Jazira and Buriram United.
Promising start faded rapidly for top-flight title-winner Keizer at Arsenal
Gerrit Keizer helped Arsenal secure the club’s first of 13 top-flight titles in 1930/31 as part of Herbert Chapman’s side. But the goalkeeper often provided an erratic presence between the sticks over his appearances before falling out of favour to Bill Harper and Charlie Preedy after the former’s return.
Chapman had thrust Keizer into the limelight for the start of the 1930/31 season after spotting him playing for Margate. The Dutchman also started the Gunners’ 1930 Community Shield 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. But Keizer’s fall from favour saw him leave in 1931 and join Charlton Athletic.
Van Bronckhorst left Arsenal on loan at the start of the Invincibles campaign
Giovanni van Bronckhorst won the 2001/02 Premier League with Arsenal after joining from Rangers for £8.5m in 2001. But the Dutchman could have added a second winners’ medal in 2003/04, but he joined La Liga giants Barcelona on loan at the start of what would become the Invincibles campaign.
Wenger allowed Van Bronckhorst to head to Spain having only held a fringe role throughout his time at Highbury. Of the now-Rangers manager’s run in red-and-white, he started just 39 of his 64 games across all competitions. He also watched the 2003 FA Cup final win over Southampton on the bench.
Lang will hope he is not another Van Bronckhorst type at Arsenal amid Arteta’s interest in the Club Brugge forward moving to north London to compete for a position that Saka excels in. The England forward was the Gunners’ main man last term with 12 goals and seven assists from 43 appearances.