Leeds United are preparing to make an offer for former Arsenal youngster Stephy Mavididi who is reportedly an admirer of their manager, Marcelo Bielsa.
The 21-year-old was sold to Juventus last summer for a fee of £1.8m but now has a value closer to £540k after he was placed in their reserves. This is probably an unfair reflection on the youngster and it is unlikely he will be sold for as little as that if he does move on.
Arsenal will certainly be hoping so, anyway, as they no doubt have a significant sell-on clause included in their deal with the Old Lady.
Mavididi played only 21 minutes for Juventus in a senior game, coming on against SPAL in a match they actually lost 2-1. He made three other Serie A appearances on the bench but, for the most part, played in Serie C where he scored six and assisted one in 1,785 minutes.
Speaking last month, Mavididi explained why he moved to Juventus, saying, “Last summer I came back to Arsenal for pre-season and was told it would be difficult for me to play in the first team.
“My time at Arsenal was done. I had been there for eight years, but then Juventus came calling and I was on cloud nine again – it was an amazing feeling.
“I was speaking to the scout who told me he had been watching me for a while, telling me games I played in three years ago – I couldn’t even remember them, but he liked what he saw.
“When Juventus came calling, how could I turn it down? I didn’t think twice about it. I liked the project. I thought I can only improve, it is now down to me to kick on, train with these players and learn as much as I can. It was a massive opportunity and I am happy I have taken it.”
Given those comments, it’s hard to imagine that he’s hankering for a return to England so soon, but the promise of actual first-team football, especially with a club the stature of Leeds, might be hard to ignore.
Although he was on the Arsenal first-team bench twice, he never got to play a single minute for them at the top level. Two goals in five games for the u15s and five in 18 for the u19s in the UEFA Youth League plus 21 goals and four assists in 41 u23 games represent his return for Arsenal before he was sent on loan to Charlton. There he scored two and assisted one in 20 games where he averaged just over 50 minutes per game.