Despite a meteoric rise to prominence last season Moise Kean may be about to leave Juventus.
The teenage sensation has long been earmarked to cement a starting berth in the Old Lady’s first-team, but with significant stumbling blocks stifling his passage – notably Cristiano Ronaldo – he may seek opportunities elsewhere.
Heralded as the latest star to emerge from the Turin club’s revered production line, Juve will reportedly insist upon a meagre £36m buyback clause should a departure materialise, as they hope to profit further down the line.
Kean, like many of his star-studded contemporaries, takes refuge under the umbrella of super-agent Mino Raiola, and reports suggest Arsenal have already made contact with the Italian’s globally-recognised representative.
It is believed Juve want to tie Kean down to a new deal until 2024 – with his contract set to expire next year – before transferring him to an overseas club; and a quick gander on the grapevine suggests there are plenty of potential suitors.
Maurizio Sarri proved last season that he has a penchant for obsessive regularity in his sides, not to mention a seemingly reluctant stance on providing young players substantial playing time, so a move abroad could suit all parties here.
So, should Kean part company from Serie A for pastures new, which club would suit his ambitions?
The Gunners need a marquee signing to rejuvenate spirits and alleviate growing frustrations, as does Unai Emery, who is yet to truly convince Arsenal fans that he is the man capable of succeeding Arsene Wenger and taking the club back to the upper echelons of English football.
But, with a supposed transfer kitty of around £45m, the Spaniard may very well struggle to accrue the requisite talent to really flourish in the Premier League.
Thus far, Wilfried Zaha’s signature has proven beyond the club’s financial capacities, with Crystal Palace knocking back multiple overtures from the Gunners, so a move for Kean at the reported £31.5m makes total sense for a club seemingly allergic to splashing the sort of funds both Manchester clubs have no aversion to.
Emery has proven across his career that he has the capability of adapting his shape, philosophy and line-ups if need be, so bringing in a young, hungry and technically-gifted No 9, could see a tweak in his tactical approach.
Abandoning his pursuit for Zaha would, not only open up the funds for a potential Kean move, but it could also entice Alex Iwobi to remain in the capital after he stated he would leave the club if the Ivorian pitches up at the Emirates: “If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave.”
And while it’s clear that Arsenal’s struggles were at the back last term, the club simply needs a big player to come in and bring a fresh sense of optimism, and Kean would not only bring a youthful buzz, but he could also become the poster boy for a replenished impetus on the north London terraces.
The prospect of an attacking triumvirate consisting of Kean, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette is certainly a mouth-watering prospect and guaranteed to evoke fond memories of esteemed Arsenal strike-forces of old.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Realistic: Borussia Dortmund
This is a Borussia Dortmund signing down to a T. Yes, the Ruhr district giants face the prospect of losing Kean further down the line should he thrive at the Westfalenstadion, but it would certainly be worth a punt should the Italian tyro realise his potential.
Bayern Munich currently have an ironclad stranglehold on the Bundesliga, but Die Borussen will be determined to thwart their domestic dominance; and bringing in a player of Kean’s 18-yard devastation could be key to swinging the Meisterschale pendulum in their favour.
For Italy and Juve last term Kean started eight matches, and scored nine times; he is quite simply, a penalty box assassin. Dortmund themselves had some semblance of an attacking threat in Paco Alcacer last campaign, but the Spaniard featured more times from the bench than from the off, despite his appetising return in front of goal, suggesting Lucien Favre doesn’t have complete faith in the ex-Barca man.
Dortmund have long had a history of bleeding in young players and giving them a platform to develop their skills, so acquiring the services of another fledgling forward with seemingly boundless potential seems plausible, and why would Kean not want to further his education at one of the continent’s finest footballing institutions?
Well, he probably would if he has any aspirations of reaching the game’s pinnacle. With the likes of Jadon Sancho, Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Marco Reus teeing him up, Kean could really blossom into a central forward of real substance and pedigree, not to mention it would take Lucien Favre’s game to the next level.
Another club who possesses the financial muscle to tempt the starlet to the Premier League, is Everton. The Toffees have had ill-luck in trying to find a consistently threatening forward in recent times, so they may go all out in an effort to bring Kean to Goodison Park.
Look, the Merseyside club don’t have European football to offer Kean, which could prove the decisive factor here, hence Everton being the wildcard option – though West Ham’s acquisition of Sebastien Haller suggests this may no longer be an issue for clubs on these shores – but if the Italian really wants to be the protagonist, the focal point, the talisman of a high-profile side, then a move to one of English football’s great aristocratic clubs may not prove such a poor career choice.
Marco Silva tinkered with various players in the No 9 role last term: Cenk Tosun, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. His central forwards, however, yielded just eight goals from starting positions up top.
If the club have ambitions of mixing it with the high-flyers of Premier League football and breaking the ceiling of their seemingly perpetual seventh-place finish, then a statement signing needs to be made.
With Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye astutely holding the fort in the middle of the pitch; Richarlison and Bernard wreaking havoc on the wings; and Gylfi Sigurdsson unlocking doors in the No 10 space, Kean would have the quality around him to continue his goalscoring form and catapult Everton to newfound heights.
It’s a long shot for Evertonians, but football has often conjured up moments of the unexpected.
Squawka suggests: Manchester United
Man Utd need a fresh start, and despite it looking increasingly likely that Romelu Lukaku may yet remain at Old Trafford, if Kean is available for the mooted £31.5m fee, the Red Devils may consider it best to cash in on the Belgian and bring a new dimension to their frontline.
Lukaku struggled last season, there is no question about that, particularly under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fast-break system, so instead of trying to shoehorn players into his tactics, the Norwegian should look to recruit a fluid puzzle piece to solve his jigsaw.
In Kean, Solskjaer would not only be getting a fast-paced attacking threat, but also a striking virtuoso, one who has proven a clinical marksman in front of goal. No longer would the club need to rely on goals from Paul Pogba, as they would have a genuine out-and-out goalscoring forward.
Despite being just 19, Kean has proven he’s mature beyond his years, already playing centre stage for Bianconeri and the Italian national side, so the seismic pressure of donning the famous red strip at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, therefore, would not be a burden for this star-in-the-making.
With Solskjaer also intent on trying to prise Harry Maguire away from Leicester City, he may not have much wiggle room in the market should a deal come to fruition there, so a move for one of world football’s most promising strikers at circa £30m looks tidy business, and who knows, if United reassert their dominance on the peaks of football’s grandest stage in years to come, Kean may very well want to remain in the North West rather than returning to northern Italy.