Arsenal transfer target Yannick Carrasco: Ten facts about former Monaco midfielder who once helped knock Gunners out of Champions League
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Arsenal are tracking former Monaco and Atleico Madrid midfielder Yannick Carrasco. Read on for ten facts about the player who has scored in a Champions League final.
1) What’s in a name?
Born in Belgium to a Portuguese father and Spanish mother, Carrasco’s full name reads Yannick Ferreira Carrasco but due to his father abandoning him and his mother when he was a child, Carrasco decided to drop his father’s name and continued his mother’s name instead.
2) He came through a successful academy
Carrasco came through the Genk academy. The club had built a reputation for producing the likes of fellow Belgians Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi so has high hopes for a successful career in football.
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3) He burst onto the scene at The Emirates
Monaco took on Arsenal in the 2015 Champions League Round of 16 – a tie which many expected Arsenal to progress. The first leg however, proved a huge shock as Monaco ran out 3-1 winners in London with Carrasco scoring the third deep into stoppage time minutes after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had pulled a goal back for The Gunners. Arsenal won the second leg 2-0 which meant Monaco went through on away goals proving Carrasco’s goal to be crucial for the French side.
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4) He has scored in a Champions League Final
Carrasco’s experience in the Champions League didn’t end with Monaco as he soon signed for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid and scored the equaliser in the 1-1 draw against fierce rivals Real Madrid in the 2016 Champions League Final at the San Siro. Atletico went on to lose the final on penalties, but Carrasco showed he could be the man for the big occasion.
5) He made a shock move to the Chinese Super League
During Carrasco’s second season at Atletico which was also his most prolific with 14 goals, the Belgian was believed to have fallen out with Simeone which saw him make a shock move to Chinese side Dalian Yifang. He claimed to be impressed with the growing quality of the league, but it was certainly a backwards step after his time in the Spanish capital.
6) He once offered a teammate 10,000 euros for breaking his nose
While in China, Carrasco made the news for a training collision which saw him break the nose of teammate Jin Pengxiang. Due to the incident, Carrasco offered an astonishing 10,000 euros in compensation to his teammate, but it was not accepted as the club were not happy with the situation.
7) He made his World Cup debut in Russia 2018
Despite his move to China, Carrasco was still confident of making Belgium’s World Cup squad last year and was picked by manager Roberto Martinez. He made his debut in the tournament as a left wing-back in the nation’s opening game against Panama which saw them run out 3-0 winners and go on to finish third in the competition.
8) Talented wide player but must add consistency
There is no denying Carrasco is a top player but there were times during his spell at Atletico where he grew to frustrate the fans. This was due to the fact that he was a player with an abundance of skill, but his final ball could be poor at times or he could be seen to take the selfish option and shoot when he should pass. That being said, there were moments when the fans were on his back that he would suddenly score a magnificent goal and grow to be loved once more.
9) He is not afraid to run at players
It is commonly said nowadays that the traditional winger is beginning to disappear in football. A wide player who will beat a full-back one-on-one and cross the ball into the striker. Many players nowadays get the ball at their feet and pass it back instead of looking to get in behind the defence. This is Carrasco’s main asset and it is exactly what Arsenal need in a wide-man. With strikers of such calibre in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Carrasco could prove a real outlet for The Gunners and carry that extra edge of dynamism the side is missing.
10) Homesick Blues?
He is said to be homesick in China and wants to move back to Europe. It appears Carrasco is no longer enjoying his time in Asia and would like to return to Europe to make his name once again. He has already ‘approved’ of the thought of a move to The Emirates with Manchester United and AC Milan also interested. Dalian Yifang paid £26.5 million for the 25-year-old last year but his current earnings of around £8.8 million a season may even make the giants of European football balk.