Arsenal scouts assess future targets in Champions League ties

Arsenal
Brighton are reportedly keen on Genk midfielder Sander Berge who has been told he can leave the Belgian club this summer for the right price.

Arsenal scouted Norwegians Erling Braut Haland and Sander Berge in RB Salzburg’s win over Genk and Ibrahima Konate in Leipzig’s win over Benfica on Tuesday.

The Gunners were present at Red Bull Arena to see Haaland become the third-youngest scorer of a Champions League hat-trick as the 19-year-old helped Salzburg to a 6-2 win over Genk.

The striker opened the scoring after two minutes and had claims on the match-ball before half-time as the Austrians ran riot in Group E.

Arsenal have followed Haaland’s progress for over a year now and made trips to Norway to watch him action for former club Molde.

They also sent scouts to Austria late in August to watch Salzburg’s easy win over Swarovski Tirol, in which he also scored.

The scout’s remit is also likely to have been to report back on Belgian midfielder Berge, who has also been linked to Arsenal for well over a year.

The 21-year-old had a steady game with 86% of his 52 passes being successful and four aerial duels won, but he was not a standout performer on the night.

Sheffield United and Brighton were understood to have made bids for Berge over the summer, but he rejected them because he wants to wait for bigger clubs to come in for him.

His style would suit the Gunners and his inevitable move from Genk looks likely to be soon – with the Belgian club potentially looking to cash in during the January transfer window if they are out of European competition.

Arsenal were also represented as the scouts of ten Premier League clubs and Leeds United flocked to Portugal to see Benfica’s 2-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig in Group G.

Leipzig centre-backs Konate and Dayot Upamecano have also been linked to Arsenal over the past few months as Unai Emery scours the continent for defenders capable to plugging his leaky defence.

Frenchman Upamecano was only on the bench, however, as he has just returned to full fitness but Konate had a good game, completing 91% of his passes and winning two aerial duels during his side’s win.

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