Liverpool and Arsenal will reportedly go head-to-head to sign Schalke midfielder Max Meyer this summer amid rumours Barcelona have dropped their interest in him.
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t the Mirror), the Blaugrana have withdrawn from the race, leaving the Premier League duo as the front-runners for his signature, with Meyer thought to be high on Arsenal’s wish list.
The Gunners continue to be without the injured Santi Cazorla, and Jack Wilshere is yet to sign a new deal. The Reds did not replace Philippe Coutinho after he moved to Barcelona in January, and Emre Can’s contract is also up at the end of the season.
Meyer, 22, has spent most of his career as a playmaking No. 10, while also providing cover as a winger and even at centre-forward.
However, the Germany international has undergone a positional change this season having been used in a much deeper and more defensive role, operating as a holding midfielder.
It’s a role in which he has excelled, per WhoScored.com:
Max Meyer: Only Daniel Baier (98) has won possession in the midfield third more times than Meyer (91) in the Bundesliga this season
For more player stats — https://t.co/XPX6cuh1Hd https://t.co/pa9PwSnSsj
Though Liverpool could still use a replacement for Coutinho, building a strong foundation in front of their defence should be a higher priority, and Meyer could be a useful asset in that regard.
Similarly, Arsenal have Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their ranks so they’re covered when it comes to creativity, but they too are sorely in need of a shield for their back line.
Meyer can provide that thanks to his impressive ball-winning skills, and he’s composed in possession, too. According to Squawka, he has completed 13 of the 16 take-ons he has attempted this season, and he has maintained a passing accuracy of 89 per cent.
The midfielder looks likely to be moving on this summer, as his contract is up. Per Goal’s Ronan Murphy, it seems his representatives are at an impasse with Schalke:
Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul
If this isn’t a sign that Max Meyer isn’t staying at Schalke, I don’t know what is.
ATTN: Liverpool and Arsenal
#S04 #AFC #LFC
Meyer’s development looked to have stalled somewhat last season as he produced a disappointing campaign, but he has been given a new lease of life in his new position, and he would be a valuable addition to either Arsenal or Liverpool.