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Who is £25m-rated Arsenal target Noa Lang?

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Club Brugge and Netherlands attacker Noa Lang amid reports claiming that Arsenal are readying a £25m January offer.

Arsenal are reportedly plotting a January swoop for Club Brugge and Netherlands attacker Noa Lang.

The 22-year-old - who was also linked with Leeds United in the summer - has taken to life in Belgium with aplomb and is now starting to gain international recognition following his maiden appearances for the Oranje senior side.

However, any deal to bring Lang to North London will not be easy for Arsenal, with the attacker extending his stay at Brugge until 2025 just last month.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at Lang's rapid rise and what Arsenal fans could expect from the starlet should he make the move to the Premier League.


BACKGROUND

Netherlands attacker Noa Lang pictured during warm-up on October 2021© Reuters

Born in a region of the Netherlands called Capelle aan den IJssel, Lang initially began his youth career in the Feyenoord academy before transferring to Ajax in the summer of 2013, where he would quickly rise through the ranks.

A consistent goalscorer at various age levels in Ajax's youth teams - banking a total of 12 goals and 12 assists in 47 appearances for the Under-21s - Lang would make three substitute appearances in the Eredivisie during the 2018-19 season, claiming the assist for Daley Blind's winner on his debut against PEC Zwolle.

Lang would have to wait until December 2019 to make his first start for Erik ten Hag's side, but it was a debut to remember as he scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over FC Twente, while he also made three appearances in the Champions League.

A brief loan spell at FC Twente would follow for Lang before his switch to Club Brugge in the summer of 2020, where the Belgian fans would welcome a keen dribbler with accurate vision, an eye for goal and an ability to weave in and out of tackles with panache.


RECENT FORM

Club Brugge's Noa Lang pictured in September 2021© Reuters

Following his arrival in the Jupiler Pro League, Lang would take no time at all to settle in and endear himself to the Brugge faithful, scoring 14 goals and setting up eight more in 24 league appearances during the 2020-21 season as his side stormed to the top-flight title.

Lang would also score his first goal in the Champions League against Zenit St Petersburg before finding the back of the net in the Super Cup win over Genk, and he has started the new campaign as he means to go on with three goals and four assists from his opening 10 top-flight games.

The 22-year-old has also played the full 90 minutes in Brugge's draw with Paris Saint-Germain and win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League, attempting six shots, winning seven ground duels and completing five dribbles against the former to be crowned man of the match.

The versatile Lang - who has been deployed as a centre-forward, attacking midfielder and left-winger already this season - has racked up 21 goals and 15 assists in his opening 50 games for Brugge, but he has also been cautioned six times in all competitions so far this term.

Away from the pitch, Lang was at the centre of controversy earlier this year amid an investigation into his participation in anti-Semitic songs towards Anderlecht supporters - for which he refused to apologise for - but Brugge insisted that there were no prejudicial undertones in his chants.


INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Netherlands' Noa Lang shoots at goal against Gibraltar in World Cup Qualifying in October 2021© Reuters

Lang was eligible to represent Suriname through his father but has pledged allegiance to the Netherlands, whom he scored for at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level during international friendlies.

The attacker would go on to register one goal and four assists in eight appearances for the Under-21s during European Championship Qualifying and featured at the proper tournament earlier this year, but he suffered a thigh injury in a group game against Germany and played no further part in his side's run to the semi-finals.

Lang's prolific form for Brugge made it impossible for Louis van Gaal to overlook him for October's World Cup qualifiers, as he made his debut for the senior team as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Latvia before starting and claiming an assist in last week's 6-0 win over Gibraltar.

A spot in the 2022 World Cup squad is firmly on Lang's radar as he bids to keep making headlines on the pitch, but his penchant for yellow cards and off-the-pitch controversy during the early stages of his career will be factored in should Arsenal act on their rumoured interest over the winter.


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Club Brugge's Noa Lang pictured in September 2021
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