At the end of June it was reported that Arsenal had made a ‘significant offer’ for Levante’s Enis Bardhi, so what happened to that bid?
Reading through September’s edition of World Soccer, I noted that they linked us with a move for Enis Bardhi. It wasn’t a big piece, but it was a name that hasn’t been mentioned that much in the press, so I decided to have a look and see what was going on.
Spanish outlet OD Valencia reported that Arsenal submitted a ‘significant offer’ for Bardhi towards the end of June, adding that Fiorentina and an unnamed Bundesliga team were also following the then 24-year-old Macedonian.
Since that article, Bardhi has turned 25, and Arsenal’s interest seems to have vanished from the rumour pages.
Bardhi has enjoyed three good years in La Liga after his form for the Hungarian side, Ujpest, caught the Spaniards’ attention. He finished this season with seven goals and four assists from 32 appearances and has played a total of 100 times since his £1.35m move in 2017.
A regular for Macedonia, where he plays a more defensive midfield role than he does with his club, Bardhi is under contract with Levante until 2022 and is said to have a market value of around £18m.
Arsenal’s ‘significant offer’ was never explained any more than that, so we have no idea what they actually put on the table. Given how much the rumour failed to take off, we can only assume at this point that the offer didn’t exist in the first place or Levante dismissed it out of hand.
Bardhi is a midfielder who comes with a good free-kick as well as a low centre of gravity that helps him evade his opponents when combined with his ability to explode away from players. His use of both feet has been compared to that of Santi Cazorla, which is quite the compliment.
Bardhi would certainly offer Arsenal value for money and going for a lesser-known player to fill their midfield needs might be the best way of navigating their restricted budget. That, of course, becomes much harder to do when you get rid off your scouting network.
But, as it stands, there seems to be little happening with this rumour beyond the initial reports and the obligatory ‘Welcome to Arsenal’ Youtube videos.
That doesn’t mean nothing is happening, of course, just that it hasn’t made the papers.