Slovakian youngster Laszlo Benes could have been an Arsenal player, but now looks set to make waves in Germany.
- Benes was scouted by Arsenal but was prohibited from joining them by his agent
- He’s now impressing for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga
As a 17-year-old, Benes impressed for Slovakian side Zilina in the Europa League against Athletic Bilbao. Since then, he was tracked by scouts from all over Europe, including scouts from Arsenal.
In an interview with Goal, Benes’ agent Karol Csonto revealed the teenager had the opportunity to join the Gunners but urged him not to.
“Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach were the only two clubs we would allow him to join,” he said. “Currently, I would not let him go to England. Arsenal were interested in him, too, but we had to be realistic about first-team chances.”
A lack of first-team opportunities was a fair concern and the Slovakian ended up at Gladbach in Germany. His first-team opportunities there were also limited initially, but he’s received a lot of praise from his team-mates and seems well-placed to make an impact next season.
Benes has been likened to Napoli’s Marek Hamsik in his style of play, as he’s very creative and an intelligent player. He was included in Gazetta dello Sport’s list of the top 50 young players in Europe.
There’s a good chance he’ll still be on Arsenal’s radar, though they may have to pay a lot more money to sign him now.
Benes is representing the Slovakia U21 side at this summer’s U21 European Championships, who recently played England.