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Fiorentina join Arsenal in race for Andy Najar

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The highly-rated Anderlecht winger could be Fiorentina's first signing of 2016.

Andy Najar laughs in the face of gravity.
Andy Najar laughs in the face of gravity.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

According to Gianluca di Marzio (who is usually pretty reliable), Fiorentina are in hot pursuit of Anderlecht winger Andy Najar. The Honduran-born winger also holds a US passport and made his first professional appearances with DC United in the MLS. Despite interest from Arsenal, the Viola are confident of signing the 22-year-old, who's got 3 goals already this season.

Andy Ariel Najar Rodríguez came up through the DC United youth academy, signing his first professional contract with the team aged 17. He made his first appearance for them that week, and scored his first goal a month later. He won the Rookie of the Year award, and was expected to move on to Europe shortly. Instead, he stuck with DC United for another 2 years before moving to Anderlecht on a loan deal in 2013, which they made made permanent. He scored 13 goals in 82 appearances in the MLS, and has 11 in 77 in the Jupiler League. He's also a full international with 4 goals and 31 caps already for the Catrachos.

He's a small, fast tricky player who likes to hug the touchline; more of a winger than a wide forward, as he likes to get the ball into feet, turn, and dribble at his defender, rather than try to run in behind. His passing is tidy rather than incisive, although he's a good crosser. What sets him apart, really, is his work rate, which is superb: he's happy to sprint up and down for 90 minutes. He actually started out as a rightback, so he's a solid defender and looks the part of a perfect wingback. It's no wonder that Arsenal are chasing him, although di Marzio seems to think that a €5 million offer will be enough to see the player in purple.