Young River Plate midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano was rumoured to be a target for Manchester United in the summer, and now it looks like Arsenal and Manchester City have also turned their attention to his talents. talkSPORT's Transfer Spotlight have all the latest information on the Argentinean...
Name: Adrian Ezequiel Cirigliano
Date of birth: 24 January 1992
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Club: River Plate
International appearances: 13 appearances for Argentina U20
Honours: Argentinian Second Division (2011/12)
What's the latest?
Cirigliano's positional sense and tough mentality make him a natural choice for the defensive midfield role, and his performances for River have led to comparisons with countryman Javier Mascherano. That's high praise indeed in Argentina, where the former Liverpool man is considered the definitive midfield hard-man. Cirigliano's passing ability is arguably more impressive than Mascherano's, however, and he has shown excellent vision with a love of playing between the lines. It's thought that £4m could be enough for United, Arsenal or Manchester City to convince River to sell, and if he can adapt to the Premier League and produce his best form, it could be a bargain.
Did you know?
1) Cirigliano is a product of River Plate's youth system and is considered a classic number five in the River mould. A defensive midfielder capable of shackling the opposition, but equally confident spraying the ball around the pitch with the ability of a deep-lying playmaker.
2) The midfielder made his River first team debut at the age of 18 in 2010, but initially found it difficult to gain consistent game time within an over-crowded squad.
3) Despite being only 20 years old, Cirigliano had worked his way into a starting position at Rive Plate by the time the 2011/12 season came around, and is now considered a stalwart of their first team, having made 15 appearances already this season.
4) The youngster has acquired a host of nicknames at River, ranging from 'Eze', Ciri' and 'El Chili' to 'the mini-Xavi'. Those should all come in handy if he moves to England, considering the difficulty in pronouncing his name!
5) Interest in Cirigliano began to emerge in the summer following his role in River's promotion to the first division in the 2011/12 season. The midfielder managed 27 games in the league last season, and is expected to make the Argentina senior squad in the future. He was recently made temporary River Plate captain in the absence of David Trezeguet and veteran midfielder Ponzio.
“Cirigliano is the best player in the league, a brilliant player that will give us plenty to talk about. He has a little of everything, the quality to thread a ball through to wherever he wants, and the ability to make the team play. He also has Javier Mascherano's capacity to recover the ball and run a game.” Former River Plate player Alejandro Dominguez
Should Arsenal, City or United move for Cirigliano? Comment below and let us know...