The number of extravagant release clauses inserted into player’s contract these days is getting to extortionate levels. Arsenal could only watch on as the purchase of Neymar from Barcelona by Paris Saint-Germain changed the game regarding buyouts due to, if anything, fear of underestimating a player’s value.
Arsenal have rarely used this method to their benefit with the most recent acquisition through a buyout clause coming in 2020 after, to Diego Simone’s displeasure, the Gunners stole Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid for around £45million.
With the January window fast approaching and some financial flexibility, Arsenal should be looking at potential forwards to strengthen their attack. football.london understands that Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mykhaylo Mudryk is of long-term interest to Arsenal but reports suggest his fee could reach an extortionate height despite some suggestions of the Ukrainian side slashing their demands.
If Arsenal are priced out of a move with a figure exceeding £60million, there is perhaps a player who slipped under people’s radar and has suddenly been thrust into the limelight with both the World Cup and the reports revealing a somewhat undervalued release clause.
Nico Williams of Athletic Club in Spain is with Luis Enrique’s side this summer after impressing for his club in the Basque region. The 20-year-old has three goals and four assists in somewhat of a season of establishment as an Athletic Club starter.
Last season Williams used time from the bench to show his talents but failed to register a goal contribution. However, Ernesto Valverde, impressed with his efforts, has thrown the Spaniard into the fold and been rewarded with his goal-contributing responses.
Like his brother Inaki Williams, he has speed and height. However, unlike his sibling, also at the World Cup but with Ghana, Nico loves a trick or two and plays on the right-hand side. Arsenal missed out on right winger Raphinha in the summer and therefore feel a Bukayo Saka competitor is needed.
He lacks versatility, not through a restrictive ability, but more simply he’s not really been deployed elsewhere despite a handful of games operating on the left. Contrasting to Saka he is not an inverted winger and is right-footed; yet it doesn’t stop him from trying to cut in, use his left foot or the outside of his right too.
Goal report that he has a €50million (£43.2million) release clause. Yes, this is high considering his young age and early burst onto the scene but it will not last long if left untouched as Athletic Club like to raise player clauses early and Williams has somewhat slipped through the net so far.
Should a deal for Mudryk prove financially problematic, Arsenal cannot afford to wait a window with the opportunity this season is giving. Williams may struggle, like most, to give an immediate impact but is playing at an elite level, appreciated and selected for a top nation and has a very high ceiling indeed.
Newly-promoted Arsenal sporting director Edu should be well aware of Williams and if not needs to get educated on his talents. The clock is ticking before Athletic Club can renew, but Williams might indeed prove to be a savvy option for the club.