Who is Barcelona's Jose Arnaiz? The Arsenal & Spurs target with a €20 million release clause

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There is a new youngster impressing at Camp Nou and clubs from all over Europe are watching closely. So what is all the fuss about?

His arrival slipped somewhat under the radar. In late August, all the transfer talk at Barcelona was about Philippe Coutinho and other possibilities after Neymar's shock sale to Paris Saint-Germain. So not many noticed when winger Jose Arnaiz was brought in from Valladolid for the youth team.

The 22-year-old had already played for two seasons in Spain's Segunda Division when he was bought by Barca for a fee in the region of €3.5 million. Six months on, he is appearing for the first team for the Catalan club and has already attracted the attention of a number of elite sides across Europe.

Arsenal and Tottenham are both keeping tabs on the exciting youngster, a left winger with a great eye for goal and a powerful shot who has netted six and set up three for Barca B in 2017-18, before recently stepping up to the first team with success as well.

Arnaiz scored home and away against Murcia in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey and netted another against Celta Vigo in the first leg of the next round (a 1-1 draw), with the return to come at Camp Nou on Thursday night.

Jose Arnaiz Barcelona graphic

"I hope he will help us in the future," Barca boss Ernesto Valverde said after his first appearance against Murcia. "He is an intelligent player. In the second half when the opponent opened up, he found his best positions. When he gets the ball in front of goal, he knows what to do, I think this is his first step."

And at Balaidos on Thursday night, Valverde fielded Arnaiz in a central role in attack, a decision that paid dividends as the youngster opened the scoring with a clinical left-footed finish.

"Arnaiz plays on the wing, but he is effective as a striker," Valverde said afterwards. "He did it at Valladolid. He is a self-confident player and he scores goals."

After that impressive performance, Arnaiz was rewarded with a Liga debut against Levante on Sunday, featuring for the final five minutes in the 3-0 win as he replaced Sergi Roberto in the Camp Nou clash.

Jose Arnaiz Aleix Vidal Barcelona Celta Vigo

Arnaiz Murcia Barcelona Copa del Rey

It is a rapid rise and as well as Arsenal and Spurs, many of Europe's top teams are sniffing around a talent with a relatively low release clause of €20m. And with the arrival of Coutinho from Liverpool in a €160m deal on Saturday, competition for places in Barca's first team has just got even tougher.

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The Blaugrana also need to sell after spending in excess of €300m across the past two transfer windows. However, letting Arnaiz leave is not in their plans this January, with Arda Turan, Gerard Deulofeu and even Andre Gomes more likely to depart than the 22-year-old.

How he develops over the remainder of the season could determine whether he is kept in the summer, but Barca would prefer to let him leave on loan if he is deemed to be too good for their youth side.

And if his impressive ascent continues, they may even consider handing him a new contract and a higher release clause to deter rival sides from snapping him up on the cheap in the summer.

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