According to the Express, Arsenal are considering what has been described as a ‘shock move’ for Real Madrid midfielder, Marcos Llorente.

That is a surprising link in itself, not only because he currently features at Alaves (season-long loan deal) but hasn’t been given ample opportunity to show his quality at Real yet.

Having only played 24 minutes of league football last season in two substitute cameo appearances, it’s no surprise that the 21-year-old has moved out on-loan in search of regular first-team football. The skill and intensity gap between youth and senior level is significant but, to his credit, Llorente has fared well since the start of the season.

He has played every minute in Alaves’ six La Liga fixtures after remaining an unused substitute in their 1-1 away draw with Atlético Madrid at the end of August. Winning two Man of the Match awards for his performances, the Spaniard operates as a central midfielder but can also play in more of a defensive-minded role protecting the backline too.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 10: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Marcos Llorente of Deportivo Alaves during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 10: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Marcos Llorente of Deportivo Alaves during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou stadium on September 10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos / Getty Images)

Seen as one of the brightest prospects in Madrid’s academy, it speaks volumes that he is yet to really stamp his authority in the first-tea, mainly as the strength in depth is high for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 03: Marcos Llorente #27 of Real Madrid drives by Fabian Benko #40 of Bayern Munich during their International Champions Cup match at MetLife Stadium on August 3, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 03: Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente (far right) drives by Bayern Munich’s Fabian Benko (middle) during their International Champions Cup match at MetLife Stadium on August 3, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)

The Express suggested Arsenal would be able to persuade Llorente into a move to Spain, provided they give him an upgrade in wages. With that being said, it seems unlikely that he’d migrate to London if he wasn’t given certain first team assurances, which is far from guaranteed in an ever-improving Arsenal side with consistent displays being rewarded by extended runs in the team.

Given Real also have a transfer ban, it would be even more of a surprise if they were to let one of their best youngsters leave, not least due to the possibility of injuries and suspensions for key players. Casemiro is expected to be out until the start of 2017, whilst 31-year-old Luka Modric has gradually begun to sustain injuries on a more frequent basis, increasing the workload in midfield for Toni Kroos and Mateo Kovacic.