Arsenal and Manchester United have both been linked with Hertha Berlin star Arne Maier, as they look to potentially strengthen their squad’s in the January transfer window.
After putting in a number of impressive performances for the Bundesliga outfit, the 19-year-old has been courted by several European clubs, including Barcelona and fellow German side Bayern Munich. Although fellow youngster Jadon Sancho has perhaps taken the limelight off his counterpart in Germany’s top flight, Maier’s performances for club and country are causing a stir.
Here are six things you should know about the German midfielder.
6. Dubbed the ‘New Toni Kroos’
It’s one thing to be one of your country’s promising youngsters, but it’s quite another being compared to German World Cup-winning midfielder Toni Kroos.
But that’s exactly what has happened with Maier, with the midfielder’s performances for Hertha having caught the eye of renowned Arsenal scout Sven Mislintat.
The 46-year-old has overseen several marquee signings including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lucas Torriera since arriving at the Emirates Stadium, and he has dubbed the youngster good enough to fill the boots of the Real Madrid man. Talk about pressure…
5. He Has a Great Work Ethic
While Maier’s goal-scoring exploits at youth level caught the eye of many, it’s his defensive work ethic that the 19-year-old is now renowned for.
The wonderkid’s ‘engine like’ approach has shown he has all the attributes required to make it at the highest level, with Hertha reaping the benefits of his tireless efforts in midfield.
Should he move across to Premier League, he will need to put into practice the skills that he has been honing up until now. Doesn’t look as if that will be a problem mind you.
4. He’s an Experienced German Youth International
Having already made over 30 appearances in the outreaches of Germany’s youth teams, Maier’s international experience could prove handy in the forthcoming years.
On the cusp of a senior international call-up, he would follow in the footsteps of Premier League superstars Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane by breaking through at a relatively young age.
With the German senior side currently enduring a miserable run of form, they could turn to the likes of Maier sooner rather than later for help.
3. He’s Comfortable With the Ball at Both Feet
Some of the most gifted talents in the world struggle to operate with both feet. The same can’t be said for Maier, however, with the teenager more than adept with both digits.
Although he’s naturally right-footed, the youngster is certainly not afraid to switch feet in the trickiest of moments and with time on his side, chances to further develop his two-footed ability will present itself.
Surely an attribute that will impress many around the world.
2. He’s Already Won Awards
Although he was agonzingly ousted by Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz for Germany’s most prestigious youngster award in 2017-18 season, Maier’s second place finish still sent shockwaves through the country.
Previous podium finishers of the Fritz Walter Medal award include some of the biggest names in world football, such as Jerome Boateng, Manuel Never and Andre Schurrle.
If that wasn’t enough, he led Hertha Under-19’s to victory over Schalke Under-19’s in the German A Juniors Championship Final.
1. He’s Valued Around the £15m Mark
With Arsenal and Manchester United leading the chase for Maier’s signature, either club may have to fork out a significant amount of cash to get any deal over the line.
His price tag stands at £15m – a remarkably mere figure in today’s market, and the Premier League giants would most likely have to pay double considering his age.
Nevertheless, Maier’s ever-growing reputation in Germany could soon give clubs no option but to pop a bid in before his price sky rockets.