The race is wide open

Arsenal and Chelsea Interested in Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that both Arsenal and Chelsea have shown interest in signing Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams. Williams has been a standout player for Athletic Club this season, contributing to their push for a UEFA Champions League spot in La Liga. Currently, they are fifth in the league, only three points behind Atletico Madrid. Williams has scored three goals and provided seven assists in 20 league games this season, making him an attractive prospect for the Premier League clubs.

Romano reported in his column for Caught Offside, “Arsenal have sent their scouts to follow Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao multiple times, and it’s the same for Chelsea. The race is completely open, and nothing is advanced with either club so far. He’d be great in the Premier League in my opinion – a physical and technical player; very good one.”

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have struggled to find consistent attacking form this season. Arsenal’s primary attacking trio of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli have only managed to score a combined total of 17 Premier League goals. Similarly, Chelsea’s trio of Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling, and Mykhaylo Mudryk have contributed 15 league goals between them. Consequently, both clubs are looking to bolster their attack in the upcoming transfer window, with Williams being a key target on their transfer shortlists.

The 21-year-old winger came through Athletic Bilbao’s academy and has registered 17 goals and 17 assists in 109 senior games for the club. His potential and skills have attracted attention from top clubs across Europe, with the Premier League giants keen on securing his services for the future.

Arsenal and Chelsea’s 2023-24 Season Performance

The current season has seen Arsenal and Chelsea experience different levels of success in their respective competitions. Arsenal has shone in the Premier League, competing for the title once again after narrowly missing out to Manchester City last season. They currently sit in third place in the league, five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand against West Ham United. Additionally, Arsenal has progressed to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and will face FC Porto in the upcoming fixtures. However, they were knocked out of both the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.

On the other hand, Chelsea’s season has been highlighted by their performance in cup competitions. They have reached the final of the EFL Cup, where they are set to face Liverpool, and have also advanced to the FA Cup fifth round, where they will host Leeds United. However, their Premier League form has been disappointing, as they currently sit in 11th place, trailing Arsenal by 18 points.

Looking ahead, both clubs are planning to strengthen their squads in the summer transfer window, and the pursuit of Nico Williams is indicative of their desire to improve their attacking options. With Romano’s confirmation of the Premier League giants’ interest in the talented winger, it remains to be seen which club will secure Williams’ signature. His arrival at either Arsenal or Chelsea could provide a significant boost to their respective attacking units, adding depth and quality to their squads.

As the season progresses and the summer transfer window approaches, the competition for Williams’ signature is expected to intensify, with prominent European clubs closely monitoring the situation. It will be intriguing to see how the transfer saga unfolds and which club eventually seals the deal for the promising Athletic Bilbao winger.