According to a report from French outlet Jeunes Footeux, Arsenal are set to battle Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Sheffield United star Sander Berge this summer.
The Norwegian joined the Blades for a club-record £22 million (BBC) in January last year. Berge hasn’t quite set the league on fire, but he has all the qualities to become a top midfielder.
Sheffield United have one foot in the Championship already.
Chris Wilder’s men have picked up just 14 points in their 28 league games so far, and unless they manage to do something miraculous in their next 10 games, they will go down.
Arsenal and Spurs are looking to take advantage of the Blades’ relegation by snapping up Berge on a bargain.
The report claims that Sheffield United are prepared to sell him, but they are not willing to make a loss on the £22 million they paid for him in 2020.
Sander Berge has been compared to Patrick Vieira
Kjetil Rekdal, Berge’s coach at his former club Valerenga, once compared him to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.
He told The Times in February last year: “When I brought him back to Valerenga I compared Sander to Patrick Vieira. He’s tall, strong and fast for his stature. He is also not afraid to ask for the ball and will always do something with it.”
“Sander has a good pass. He made an incredible progression in a short time. It’s a shame we have to let such a young talent go, but that’s just how it goes in football.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Berge is no Vieira but he is still a very good player. The Norwegian hasn’t quite been able to showcase all of his skills for Sheffield United, but at a better club and in a better system, he might do very well.
However, if Arsenal are looking for a central midfielder and are prepared to spend a fee in the region of £22 million, we might as well sign Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on a permanent deal.
The Spaniard has proven himself at Arsenal and apart from an odd mistake here and there, he has been a brilliant player. If the debate is between Ceballos and Berge, we should go with the former without thinking twice.