FC Porto captain has put Premier League sides on red alert after he admitted he wants to move to England.
The Portugal international featured for Porto as they claimed a second Liga NOS title in three years, with the defensive midfielder playing 25 times. Now at 28 years old, Danilo has admitted that he’s looking at new challenges and England is top of his priority list.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports, he said:
“Of course I like to be here in Porto, to be here in my country, but I want to be in a better league like the Premier League. I always dreamed about playing in that league. I also played in Serie A but I think the Premier League is a huge league and one day I want to play there, to improve to be a better player. I think it’s the best league in the world.“
Danilo was part of Portugal’s squad that won Euro 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2019. He is often rotated with William Carvalho in the national team, who has also been linked with a Premier League move this summer.
At 28 years old, he is in the prime of his career and the peak of his powers. He has been linked with a move to Arsenal recently and in the interview didn’t hold back on his thoughts about those rumours.
“Arteta is a really good coach who started as the second coach, so he has a little experience and Arsenal play very good football and I think he is doing a very well there.
“The style I think I can fit there [at Arsenal], the way [Arteta] plays also thinking on the ball, the team always has to play together – I think it is a good way to play.“
With Arsenal currently adopting a 3-4-3 system with Xhaka and Ceballos in the centre of midfield, Danilo could struggle to get into the side. However Arteta has spoken previously about his preference for a 4-3-3, in which case Danilo could slot seamlessly into the DM position. With Lucas Torreira out of favour and reportedly looking to leave in the summer, Arsenal would be short in midfield and Porto wouldn’t demand a huge fee for their skipper.
He is very comfortable on the ball and while not the most mobile, he is positionally excellent and reads the game very well. He is big and strong with a physical side to his game and not afraid to stick a foot in. He’d be a welcome addition to the Emirates Stadium.
With an 8th place finish the highest the Gunners can achieve this season, they need to be smart in the transfer market this summer and could do a lot worse than look at a Champions League-calibre defensive midfielder.