According to reports from various outlets, Arsenal are interested in bringing Donyell Malen back to the club.
The Gunners took Malen from the Ajax Academy in 2015 at the age of 15, and much hope was placed into him becoming a regular feature of the first team in the future. However, it was judged that the hope had belied the actual progress and after two years in north London, he was sold back to Netherlands, to PSV Eindhoven for €600,000 (transfermarkt.com) and with no buyback clause included into the deal. But as it can sometimes happen, Malen has kicked on from there and made significant progress in his career, recently even breaking into the Netherlands national team for which he scored on his debut – against Germany, no less.
Now Arsenal want him back, apparently.
I does make sense, actually, in some ways. His pace, relentless work-rate and ability to take players on make him exactly the type of player which manager Unai Emery prefers in the wide attacking roles – Nicolas Pepe is another example. There are already a few young players who fit the bill there, namely Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka, and adding Malen into the mix would certainly boost the competition for the places upfront om the long run. Let’s face it, Arsenal cannot rely on 30-year-old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to deliver the goods forever.
On the other hand, PSV would be in a very strong negotiating position, having extended his contract this August for further five years. It is believed that prizing Malen away from the Philips Stadium would cost the Gunners £50 million at least, and that is just one of the problems. The other, and probably bigger if true, is that Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are keen on taking him to Anfield, where he would be a reasonably good, certainly talented enough, backup option for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Once again, this underlines the absolute necessity for Arsenal to reach the Champions League, if they are to even dream of having the kind of pull that they had only a few years ago, when, for example, Alexis Sanchez snubbed the Merseysiders for Arsenal, despite the fact that Luis Suarez went from Liverpool to Barcelona and that Liverpool reportedly offered more money than Arsenal eventually paid for the Chilean. The tables have turned since then, and Arsenal must work hard to get back where they belong.