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Arsene Wenger has turned his attention this time towards Central Asia in the search for high quality promising players. The 63 year old Frenchman has reportedly been following Anzhi Makhachkala’s Uzbek star Odil Akhmedov.
Akhmedov was quoted telling Russian daily Izvestia: "It is true that I have had interest from London club Arsenal. I am being watched by their scouts, who are watching over my every game. If I move on to this club, it will be a success not only for me but for the whole of Uzbek football. Of course, I am very happy to play at Anzhi. This is a club with a great future, but I’d like to try in England or Spain. All these countries have great teams, but having the choice to play for Arsenal would be a dream."
The 25 year old began playing for Uzbek side FC Pakhtakor Tashkent in 2006, before making a move to cash rich Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011. He has made 34 appearances for club and country this season and has been formidable in defensive midfield and at centre back (occasionally) for his team. Apart from Arsenal, Akhmedov has also drawn the interest of a number of top European sides including Malaga, Rubin Kazan, Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas and Dynamo Kiev.
Akhmedov might feature in Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s plans as a solution to his defensive midfield woes – a position that he has been forced to forgo following Alex Song’s departure to Barcelona. Known for his tackling style and powerful shots, Akhmedov can be quite a useful player for Wenger only if his lack of Premier League experience doesn’t go against him.
The Uzbek is valued at a very affordable €6m and has a contract till June 2015 with his current side.
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