Arsenal, Aston Villa winger hopes over as La Liga ace joins illustrious European club in £24m deal

2 minute read

Arsenal and Aston Villa are among the Premier League clubs to have missed out on exciting winger Samuel Chukwueze, with the Nigerian joining AC Milan on a five-year contract.

Chukwueze enjoyed a good season in 2022-23, registering 13 goals and 11 assists in 50 matches. He was one of Villarreal’s best performers as they finished fifth in La Liga and reached the last 16 of both the Copa del Rey and Europa Conference League.

Villa have been tipped to bid for Chukwueze on numerous occasions due to Unai Emery’s good relationship with the attacker, who mainly operates on the right flank. This stems from Emery’s time in charge of the Spanish outfit.

But they are far from the only English club to be impressed by Chukwueze’s displays. He has also been linked with Liverpool, Newcastle United and Arsenal. Last month, Italian source Calciomercato revealed how Mikel Arteta’s side were rivalling Milan for his services.

However, Milan have won the race for the talented 24-year-old. A club statement has confirmed his arrival from Spain on a deal lasting until June 2028. Milan have also revealed that Chukwueze will wear the number 21 shirt in Italy.

According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, Milan have agreed to pay Villarreal an initial €20m, plus €8m in add-ons, for Chukwueze. That means they could end up paying a total of £24m if all bonus conditions are met.

It has been widely reported that Italian clubs are not in a good financial situation right now, as they are struggling to keep up with Prem sides. As such, that potential £24m outlay represents quite a lot of money for the Rossoneri.

Chukwueze will definitely end up being worth it if he reaches his huge potential. Although, it will not be straightforward for him to get into the Milan starting eleven. Manager Stefano Pioli can already use the likes of Rafael Leao, Alexis Saelemaekers and Ante Rebic out wide, while Milan captured Christian Pulisic from Chelsea earlier in the transfer window as well.

Arsenal and Villa may be disappointed about Chukwueze being tied down to a long-term contract elsewhere. However, those two clubs do already have good options in wide attacking areas.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta usually selects Bukayo Saka at right wing and Gabriel Martinelli on the left, with Reiss Nelson and Leandro Trossard providing back up for them.

Emery, meanwhile, will now be able to utilise Moussa Diaby following his £52m switch from Bayer Leverkusen. Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia and Bertrand Traore are just some of the other wingers at Emery’s disposal.

Meanwhile, Arsenal expert Charles Watts has revealed when the North London side came closest to landing a Prem star, only to complete a transfer failure instead.