If recent rumours are to be believed, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is targeting Boca Juniors wonderkid Cristian Pavon as the Gunners begin searching for a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez.
The 21-year old has been linked with a variety of top European sides since breaking into the Boca first-team setup in May 2016.
Pavon remains relatively unknown outside of South America, so here are some key things to know about the Argentine..
1. The Argentine Scores Them & Creates Them
If Alexis Sanchez does indeed leave the Emirates as expected, Arsenal will need to replace both his goalscoring ability and his creative genius.
Pavon potentially fits into both criteria – the 21-year-old was an ever-present last season in Boca’s title winning campaign last season, scoring nine goals and providing nine assists on his way to clinching his first major domestic honour.
His performances at the Bombonera saw Pavon earn a call-up to the Argentina squad, where he made his international debut against Russia in November.
2. He Should Be Within Arsenal’s Price Range
One claim in recent seasons for the Gunners continued underachieving is that they do not have the financial power to compete with Europe’s elite.
In Pavon, they likely have a player with world-class potential who is seemingly affordable. Given he is still plying his trade in Argentina, any fee demanded by Boca is likely to be substantially lower than the prices asked in the European market.
A starting figure of around £20m-25m seems likely, which adds to the appeal of Pavon even more.
3. Versatility Plays a Major Factor in His Game
The youngster fashions chances for not just himself, but his team-mates as well. Breaking with pace, running with the ball and being comfortable with either foot are just some of Pavon’s better skills.
Media comparisons have been seen Pavon likened to Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria, who spent a couple of seasons at Rosario Central before earning his big break with a move to Portuguese giants Benfica.
Pavon can play up front, or on either side of the flanks, attributes which will be key if the youngster is indeed targeted to replace Sanchez at the Emirates.
4. The World’s Best Are Tracking Him
Arsene Wenger has been known to dither when it comes to sanctioning big transfers either in or out of the club.
He may have his hand forced with this one though as Pavon reportedly has a release clause written into his contract, allowing any interested party to pounce at any time.
Scouts from leading clubs such as Inter, Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to have watched the 21-year old, so Wenger may need to act fast to get his man.
5. Pavon Is Learning From the Best
One major factor in Pavon’s development is the illustrious company that he keeps on the international stage.
Though he has only recently broken into the setup, Pavon has the opportunity to train and play alongside the finest talents in the world, where he is sure to pick up some exciting traits to add to his already impressive game.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala are just a few of the world-class players that Pavon will line-up alongside, and with a World Cup on the horizon, exposure on the world stage will do wonders for Pavon’s further development.
6. He’s a Football Manager Wonderkid!
The guys over at Sports Interactive have a pretty impressive record when it comes to identifying young prospects who will blossom into leading talents in world football.
Pavon is one player who shines on the world stage after a few seasons on Football Manager 2018, with his pace, dribbling and finishing ability as good as anybody else’s on the game.
Recent wonderkids on Football Manager who have hit the big-time include Kylian Mbappe, Youri Tielemans and Christian Pulisic, so there is every chance they have got it spot on again with Pavon.