According to latest reports in Spain, Arsenal are keeping close tabs on Celta Vigo’s breakout star Gabri Veiga. With the Gunners almost certain to qualify for the Champions League next season, manager Mikel Arteta is looking to add depth to his midfield department and the Spanish midfielder has been marked as a potential target.
Gabri Veiga was registered as a first-team player only in January. He made his debut with the senior side in the 2020-21 season but largely remained with the youth team. Nevertheless, he has been a revelation this campaign, establishing himself as a key member of the first-team.
The 20-year-old has mostly been used as the central midfielder or attacking midfielder this season. The Spaniard has enjoyed a successful 2022-23 campaign so far, with 9 goals and 3 assists in 25 La Liga appearances (stats via Transfermarkt).
According to Spanish outlet Faro de Vigo (via The Sun), Arsenal are closely following the progress of Celta Vigo starlet Gabri Veiga. Premier League rivals Manchester United have also been linked with the attacking midfielder, but the Gunners are said to be ahead in the race.
The report states that the La Liga club are reluctant to sell the 20-year-old midfielder. However, Celta Vigo could be willing to part ways with the Spanish youngster if the player asks to leave and they receive a club record fee.
Now, as reported by Spanish publication Fichajes (via The Hard Tackle), Gabri Veiga is interested in a move to Arsenal. The North London side could view the young attacking midfielder as a long-term project. Real Madrid are reportedly pondering a move too, but the midfielder wants a move to the Emirates.
🚨#EXCL | Arsenal are planning to check on the situation of Celta Vigo's 20-year-old player Gabri Veiga.
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) March 17, 2023
The Gunners are still in the market looking for depth in the midfield positions. They have already signed Jorginho and Fabio Vieira recently to cover for Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard. However, with Albert Sambi Lokonga’s loan to Crystal Palace, Granit Xhaka does not have much competition.
Furthermore, the brunt responsibility of creating chances falls on Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka down the right flank. Leandro Trossard has balanced it out a bit in recent games, but with Emile Smith Rowe’s injury problems, the Gunners lack the creative spark from the left half-space.
Furthermore, Oleksandr Zinchenko’s inverted role allows the left-central midfielder in the team to push much higher up the field. Therefore, the capabilities of an attacking midfielder can be well-utilised in Mikel Arteta’s system.
Gabri Veiga: Player Profile
Gabri Veiga can be a quality investment for Arsenal in this role. The right-footed midfielder has primarily featured as an interior in a 4-1-3-2, 4-4-2, or 5-3-2 this season. He is effective centrally but often drifts into the right half-space in-game.
The Spaniard loves to receive the ball at his feet and aid his team in progressing from the midfield. He is a quality dribbler and capable of taking on and beating his man. Veiga is also a high-volume creator with various dimensions to his game in the final third.
The 20-year-old has a good arsenal of through-balls, crosses, and dangerous passes into the box. He also loves to shoot from distance and has 3 goals from outside the box this season. When Celta have deployed a slightly more conservative system, the attacking midfielder has also been seen to defend in deeper areas of the pitch. He is a capable defender for his age, but struggles against opposition dribblers.
Passing is arguably the area Veiga needs to improve the most in his game. The 20-year-old is a high-risk high-reward passer. He attempts about 34 passes every 90 minutes with a mere 76.8% success. However, this aspect can easily be improved under a possession-oriented system like Arteta’s setup.
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Arsenal are likely to face a lot of competition in their pursuit of Gabri Veiga. The youngster has a contract until 2026, and talks are already underway to double his release clause to £70 million. Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United are also in the running to land the talented midfielder. Therefore, the Gunners will have to move quickly and efficiently to prise away the Spaniard from Celta Vigo at a reasonable price.
Should Arsenal sign Gabri Veiga this summer? Let us know in the comments.
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