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Benfica starlet draws Wenger’s attention

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Arsene Wenger appears to have set his sights on yet another little known talent, with media report indicating that the Frenchman is interested in Benfica’s Paraguayan left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo.

The player’s agent Juan Gabriel Appleyard is the source of the rumour having announced on Radio Monumental: “Arsenal and Fenerbahce have enquired about Melgarejo. But so far there has been nothing concrete.”


Wenger already has Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal in the squad, and it is unlikely that the French tactician would be willing to go for another trademark left-back. However, Melgarejo possesses another quality which can be an important reason why Wenger is keeping tabs on him. The 22 year old can play all along the left side of the park which includes at left midfield and as a left winger, as effectively as his primary role. He can prove to be an immensely important utility player who can supply ammo up front for Arsenal strikers, while also perhaps filling in for the likes of Santi Cazorla or Lukas Podolski over the course of the season.

Melgarejo was purchased by Portuguese giants Benfica in 2011 but was immediately loaned off to Paços de Ferreira where he emerged as the top scorer in the league for the club. Upon his return to Estadio da Luz, manager Jorge Jesus converted him into a left back – a role in which he has excelled tremendously in his 39 appearances for the club this season.

Melgarejo has also represented his country at Under-20 level. The Paraguayan made his senior team debut for the national side in November last year, in a 3-1 friendly win over Guatemala. He has a contract with the Glorioso till June 2018.

The 22 year old is valued at £5m and Arsenal need to commence drafting plans soon if they are serious about bagging him, with Turkish club Fenerbahce also hot on his trail.