MIGUEL RIOPA/Getty Images
Arsenal reportedly had scouts in attendance at Porto’s clash with Moreirense on Sunday to run the rule over forward Andre Silva and midfielder Danilo Pereira.
According to Record (h/t Lucas Sposito of Sport Witness), the Gunners were the only team from the Premier League to have representatives at the game, and the two stars aforementioned are said to have been the reason for their visit. The report added that Arsenal have been monitoring the progress of both players for a long time.
In the game, which Porto won 3-0, both players were impressive, with Silva finding the back of the net once again. The 21-year-old sharpshooter has emerged as a major force in the final third this term and, as we can see here, has exceptional composure when chances do come his way:
Indeed, plenty of exciting attackers have made their name with Porto before being snapped up by giants of the European game, and Silva is set to be the next player to make that step.
The youngster makes the game look so easy, able to link play, find spaces and score a variety of different goals.
In a profile of the player in AS from Manuel Pereira, where it’s suggested Real Madrid are interested in landing him, too, the striker is described as “a pearl of European football”; Pereira also suggested that Silva models his game on Los Blancos star and compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
As noted by Tom Kundert of PortuGOAL, given his age, the young forward is enjoying a campaign to remember in front of goal:
Porto 4 pts behind leaders Benfica. André Silva scored 11th Liga goal of season. Keep it up, he’ll end season on 22. Not bad for a 21-y-old. pic.twitter.com/ONzrY034sw
— Tom Kundert (@PortuGoal1) January 16, 2017
Danilo’s job, meanwhile, is preventing goals being scored. The 25-year-old has long been a key man in the Porto side, and during the summer’s UEFA European Championship, he played his part for Portugal, who clinched their first-ever major title.
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images
Danilo has been superb in the Porto midfield this term.
The midfielder, in many respects, helped epitomise that Portugal side; he’s powerful, aggressive and sharp to react to danger in front of the back four. Those are qualities that would potentially see Danilo thrive in English football, too.
For much of the campaign, he’s been the linchpin in the Porto midfield. Jan Hagen of Sport Witness paid tribute to his efforts earlier in the season:
Danilo Pereira has continued his nice form with a superb half at The Dragão tonight. Without doubt Porto’s best player over the last season. pic.twitter.com/3HohXXUKAS
— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) November 6, 2016
Although both players would be very smart editions to the Arsenal squad, the Portuguese giants are renowned for getting big money for their prize assets. Sposito’s report suggested the release clauses in Silva’s and Danilo’s contracts stand at €60 million (£53 million) and €40 million (£35 million), respectively, too.
Both players have the potential to be worth that kind of money, although given the options Arsenal currently have in the two positions they operate in, hesitancy to splash out would be understandable. Here’s how both have fared in league matches this season compared to Gunners stars:
|Apps (Sub)||17||20 (1)|
|Shots per game||4.1||3.4|
|Dribbles per game||1.3||2.7|
|Apps (Sub)||14||15 (2)|
|Tackles per game||2.1||3|
|Interceptions per game||2.9||2.6|
Silva looks to be on the path to superstardom. Not only is he a wonderful goalscorer, but there are other aspects of his game that make him such an asset at the point of the attack. That’s why Porto will feel well within their rights to hold out for the kind of sums noted.
Danilo would bring something different to the Arsenal midfield and would be a natural anchor to rival Francis Coquelin. Aside from his physicality and defensive appetite, the midfielder’s calmness in possession would make him an ideal stylistic fit for Arsene Wenger’s team.