Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Aymen Barkok says he’s “flattered” a club such as Arsenal have been linked with him this summer, but still feels he has plenty to prove in the Bundesliga.
The 19-year-old is reportedly a target for the Gunners ahead of the new season, but no bid has been made from Arsenal, reports Goal. Barkok impressed at Frankfurt in 2016/17, scoring and creating four goals in six Bundesliga starts, making 18 league appearances in total.
He also represented Germany in the European U19 Championships in the summer, playing all three group games before the side were eliminated by England. Having shone for club and country, it was no surprise to see his future at the Commerzbank-Arena being speculated about.
Barkok admitted that the reported interest from Arsenal was flattering, but he remains focused on developing in Germany. “To be honest, I learned from the press. I have not received a request yet. But, of course, I am flattered,” the teenager told the Weisbadener Kurier.
“It would be great to play in the Europa League or Champions League. But that is still a long way away. I have to prove myself in the Bundesliga.” He also paid tribute to his head coach Niko Kovac for the extended playing time in the Bundesliga last season.
“It was very, very good. I never expected that I would get so much time. I am very grateful to Coach Niko Kovac for giving me so much confidence.” And as for playing position, the midfielder likes a central role, pulling the strings and threading attacks.
“I feel most comfortable playing the eight or 10. At the European Championship, I also played on the left front, but I can handle it as a six. I think I am very flexible,” Barkok added. The German youth could potentially be a long-term replacement for Mesut Ozil if Arsenal procured his signature.
The Gunners are yet to make an approach, but that could change in the coming weeks.