Arsenal joined a number of clubs in watching both Benfica play FC Porto and Belenenses play Sporting CP, according to reports in Portugal.
Benfica vs Porto
First up, Benfica hosted Porto in a 1-0 defeat. Portuguese outlets Record and O Jogo both wrote on Monday that Arsenal scouts attended the match. This follows reports last week that former player and current scout Luis Boa Morte planned to turn up for it.
The most likely target of this scouting is Andija Zivkovic. The Portuguese media have reported that Arsenal are following him for months now, and repeated the claims ahead of the weekend’s match.
Arsenal are also reportedly following 18-year-old João Félix. However, they couldn’t watch him with Benfica at the weekend, because the youngster was with the Benfica B team.
Belenenses vs Sporting CP
After that, more Arsenal scouts turned up to watch Sporting’s dramatic victory over Belenenses. Again, Record and O Jogo both reported their attendance in articles on Monday.
The match was certainly worth watching, finishing 4-3 to Sporting after two red cards for the home side. The question is over who Arsenal turned up to watch.
O Jogo claim Bayern Munich watched the match to scout Gelson Martins, and Juventus turned up for Marcos Acuna. They don’t give any hints who Arsenal Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat might have sent people to follow though.
The star of the match was probably 23-year-old Bruno Fernandes. With 14 goals and 20 assists in 50 appearances, the attacking midfielder is having a great season. Three of those goal contributions came at the weekend as he scored once and assisted twice.
Perhaps he could be an option to replace Jack Wilshere’s creativity in midfield, if the 26-year-old doesn’t extend his deal in North London. Although they’d have to do some negotiation, because Fernandes’ release clause is £87m.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.