Liverpool and Arsenal are just two of the several clubs that have gained an interest in Wolfsburg’ Croatian winger, Josip Brekalo.
With the 2021-22 Premier League season not going quite to plan for either of the English outfits, it is no surprise to see both managers looking to strengthen their squads for the following season.
After the highly anticipated signing of Thiago Alcantara last season from Bayern Munich, Jurgen Klopp is no newcomer when it comes to signing players from the Bundesliga. Although, the Liverpool manager will be hoping for a much more fluid transition for Josip Brekalo than he saw with Thiago.
Likewise, the Gunners are familiar with bringing in German transfers with their squad displaying a number of well-known names over the years, including the likes of Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Jens Lehmann who were all fellow countrymen.
Arsenal currently sits ninth in the league, 12 points adrift from the top-four Champions League places. So, you can expect Mikel Arteta to be pushing hard for new signings in the next transfer window, in the attempt for a more promising season next time around. The lack of consistency that Arsenal fans have had to put up with this season while watching their side, will be one reason they will be wanting to see Josip Brekalo leave the Volkswagen Arena and be one of the many exciting names they see join their club.
However, Liverpool and Arsenal will be up against a host of clubs if they plan on landing the midfielder on a transfer, including; Atletico Madrid, Roma and AC Milan according to the Italian outlet Calcio Mercato.
If you are aware of Josip Brekalo’s performances in the Bundesliga then you will know what all the fuss is about. But, for those of you who may just be reading the headline statistics, you may be slightly confused as to why the 22-year-old winger is getting so much attention.
Over the 113 senior appearances that the young winger has made for Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, a total of 14 goals and 13 assists. With four goals and three assists coming this season.
If you take the time to look beneath these fairly average statistics, you will see the importance of the role that Josip Brekalo plays for Wolfsburg. The Croatian international has demonstrated an impressive ability to play out of tight situations and find key passes.
With an average of 21.6% of his passes being completed made under pressure this season, Josip displays around 6% more success than the average set in the Bundesliga. Only eleven other players who have attempted the same amount of passes(or more) can demonstrate a high percentage.
Josip Brekalo was recorded as being the seventh-best player in the Bundesliga for creating shooting chances and assists over the course of 90 minutes. To put these statistics into context, there were only three players that managed to produce better statistics in both areas – Jadon Sancho, Thomas Muller and Christopher Nkunku.
So, after taking into consideration the ‘hidden’ stats that Josip Brekalo has put together at Wolfsburg, it is no surprise to see the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal leading the chase in the transfer rumours for the creative midfielder. Many Liverpool fans may be wondering how the transfer target fits into the team with such tight competition and this will remain a question for the side to answer if they land Josip.
After a promising season, which sees Wolfsburg sitting in third place with just a few games remaining; everyone at the club will be hoping to finish in a Champions League position. With this prestigious competition in their sights, Wolfsburg will need to strengthen in the summer transfer window and this, even more, the case if the transfer news is true and Josip Brekalo leaves.
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Germany’s under 21 international, Niklas Dorsche is one of the potential targets lined up for the German side who had been a possible prospect for Bayern Munich. Alongside the potential midfield target, Wolfsburg are reported to be looking at Bayern Munich’s reserve goalkeeper, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann.
The young attacking midfielder, Dorsch has seen his valuation rise from $3.5 million to $7 million from last season, after scoring four goals and bagging four assists for Jupiler Pro League side, KAA Gent.
The interest that Wolfsburg have shown in the Bayern Munich third-choice goalkeeper, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann sparked some questions amongst the fans and on sports social media accounts. The reason behind this curiosity comes down to the fact that Wolfsburg already has four of its own keepers. Many believe that the German side wants to secure the young prospect on the possibility of sending the keeper on some time on loan once he joins.