Three players Arsenal should watch at the European U21 Championships ahead of summer transfers

This week, the European Under-21 Championships kicked-off across Hungary and Slovenia, providing scouts from some of the biggest clubs from across Europe the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the most exciting young talents each nation has to offer.

The first part of the tournament will run until next Wednesday whilst the knockout phase will take place between May 31 to June 6.

Arsenal are reportedly in the market for a number of upgrades across different positions this summer, and whilst they’ll no doubt already have targets in mind, it’s likely that they will still be keeping a close eye on the tournament and making note of the players who impress.

With that in mind, below are just a few of the names who could make an impression on this big stage.

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Sven Botman – Netherlands – 21

Botman’s likely to be on the radar of many top sides already given his impressive season so far in Ligue 1 with Lille.

He’s a left-footed presiding figure who stands at 6ft4in. This aids his dominance in the air and on the floor.

Sven Botman
(Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images)

This season, across European and domestic league competition, he has a remarkably high success rate of 77.4 per cent in aerial duels and 68.2 per cent in defensive duels.

Not just this, but he’s also calm and composed on the ball, making him a key cog for his side in possession. He has a pass success rate of over 89 per cent this season, however, those passes aren’t always short and sideways, and you’ll regularly see him attempt more penetrative balls into the final third when the opportunities present themselves.

Teun Koopmeiners – Netherlands – 23

Teun Koopmeiners
(Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Koopmeiners is an exciting midfielder who features predominantly as a left-sided CM/DM for both the Netherlands and Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar.

He has strong technical ability when in possession, always calm and capable of a wide range of nice progressive touches that help him evade pressure and allow him to identify nearby passing options quickly.

Without the ball, the midfielder can make himself a difficult opponent to bypass. In terms of defensive duels, he has a success rate of 65.5 per cent this season – this ranks inside the top 15 Eredivisie midfielders who have played over 1000 minutes.

The defensive side of the 22-year-old’s game is aided by both his decent 6ft frame and also his good pace which helps him in making recovery runs or quickly closing down an opponent on the ball.

Remarkably though, even despite playing in a deeper role on the pitch, he’s scored 16 league and Europen goals, as well as registering a further six assists for AZ this season. Admittedly, those goal contributions derived almost exclusively from set-pieces or penalties, yet his efficiency from the same is most definitely an added bonus for his team.

Amine Gouiri
. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Amine Gouiri – France – 21

Gouri is a nimble forward with an abundance of trickery and pace in his locker. He left Lyon in the summer to join Nice in the pursuit of more minutes on the pitch, and he’s quickly become one of Ligue 1’s most exciting talents.

For his club, he tends to feature predominantly on the left, aiding him in cutting in onto his favoured right foot. It’s the same at international level, although don’t be surprised to see him playing through the middle as a centre forward on occasions too.

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At domestic level this season, he’s netted an impressive 16 league goals from xG of 15.78, representing a nice on-par return. On top of this, he’s also registered a further seven assists.

If he replicates this form with his national team in the coming weeks with a number of big European clubs watching, then Nice will have their work cut out in trying to keep him beyond the summer.

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