In-form Napoli attacker Dries Mertens has spoken about a clause in his contract which will frustrate potential suitors Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Belgium international has long been linked with a Premier League switch. His impressive ability would make him a certain hit at either north London side, while also helping to increase their attacking threat.
Mertens spent time at Gent, Utrecht and PSV before joining Napoli for £8.5million in 2013. He has gone on to register 141 goals in 374 matches for the club, while also winning two Coppa Italias and one domestic super cup.
The centre-forward, who can also operate as a second striker, is in red hot form right now. Five goals have come his way in Napoli’s last four games. Two of those were in the 4-0 victory over Lazio on November 28.
Mertens’ recent record is even more impressive due to the fact that he has featured for less than 68 minutes in each of those appearances.
The star’s contract expires in June. That has led to rumours that a move to England could finally be on the cards during 2022.
However, he has now pledged his allegiance to Napoli, while also revealing a clause which the club can exercise. “I like to play here and hopefully, then if you don’t, I’ll give the hand and I will thank you for all the years that I have played in Naples,” Mertens told Sky Italia (via Sports Mole). “I am honoured to be here and in any case sooner or later everything will have to end, hopefully as late as possible.
“Then the team is doing well, so many good players have arrived and sooner or later I will have to leave the place. There is a renewal clause in favour of Napoli, I hope it will be exercised, then let’s see.”
Arsenal had no ‘penetration’ vs Everton – Arteta
Arsenal’s most recent outing was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Everton. Martin Odegaard gave them the lead in first-half injury time by finishing off a Kieran Tierney cross.
But goals from Richarlison and Demarai Gray saw the points remain at Goodison Park.
During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Arteta said: “In the first half we were very inconsistent with the ball. I didn’t like it. No penetration. One of the few times we did it we scored.
“Second half we tried to do more of those things, [we] created four big chances. But we conceded a very sloppy goal when you need to manage the game.
“We couldn’t take the ball into the final third. They’re not going to give you time, at Goodison you know what to expect.
“I think the team tried to go, we kept pressing high. We lost a few important duels that put us some pressure.”
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