Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has urged his former employers to ‘go all in’ for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners will be in the market for a new creative midfielder at the end of the season, with Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard set to return to his parent club ahead of the new campaign.
The Norway international has impressed during his short spell in north London, and there is a chance that Arsenal could launch a permanent approach for his services in the summer months.
However, it remains to be seen whether Los Blancos would sanction his departure.
Winterburn, who made 440 appearances for Arsenal during his 13-year stint at the club between 1987 and 2000, believes that Grealish could be a worthy alternative after becoming one of the Premier League ‘s best players over the last two seasons.
The 57-year-old told Genting Bet that the Villa skipper has the potential to lead the Gunners to great things, but warned that Mikel Arteta ‘s side will not be the only club vying for his signature.
“I’d like to see Arsenal go all in and sign Jack Grealish,” said Winterburn. “He is a terrific player. His ability speaks for itself and he’s the type of player that if we want to move forward then we should be looking to buy.
“He tends to prefer to play on the left-hand side so we’d need to see how that works with Arsenal’s current set up but I’m sure he could play in that No 10 role as well.
“Lots is up in the air with Arsenal, they’re not sure if Odegaard will sign in the long term and that needs to be addressed beforehand.
“One thing is for sure, if Grealish does become available then a whole host of clubs will be in for him.”
Grealish had played every minute for Villa this season in the Premier League before suffering a shin injury in mid-February, a problem that has kept him out of action ever since.
He has helped the west Midlands club to stay in the top half of the table for the majority of the campaign, leading the charge with six goals and 12 assists in 22 appearances.
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The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal for some time with both Manchester clubs also said to be keen admirers.
Villa will undoubtedly be desperate to keep hold of their captain and star man into next season and beyond, with any successful bids likely to be in the nine-figure region.
Grealish signed a new long-term deal in September, keeping him on Villa’s books until the summer of 2025.