It's almost hard to believe that Fiorentina central midfielder Jordan Veretout has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal in recent weeks.
The Frenchman has emerged as a candidate to replace Aaron Ramsey who has agreed a four-year-deal to join Juventus once the season is over.
Veretout has somewhat impressively bagged five goals this Serie A campaign, mirroring Ramsey's total, whilst providing three assists. It's not a bad contribution from midfield, although he has made 27 appearances.
Regardless of his revived career in Italy, it is still a shock to believe that the Gunners are considering lining up the 25-year-old as a replacement for the Welsh midfielder.
With these surprising rumours circulating around the midfielder, here are five things you need to know about the man on Arsenal's transfer list...
He Played for Aston Villa (and Flopped)
If this whole time you were wondering, 'Jordan Veretout...where have I heard that name before?' then here's where. The Frenchman graced English shores back in 2015 when Aston Villa signed him for £8m.
Around three years ago, Veretout was an exciting prospect having been a France Under-21 international. However, the move turned out to be disastrous for him and Villa.
That season the Villans were relegated to the Championship, where they have remained ever since. No doubt Veretout regretted coming to the Premier League, but will it be second time lucky with Arsenal?
He's a World Cup Winner (Kind of)
As a young teenager, Veretout covered himself in glory for his country. As already mentioned, he is a former France youth international.
What is even more impressive is the fact that he won the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey with France. He essentially laid the foundations for Les Bleus to go onto greatness and win the 2018 World Cup five years later. Ok, laying the foundations is a stretch, but he helped.
Partnering Geoffrey Kondogbia and Paul Pogba in the middle of the park, it is unlikely that many could have predicted the way the future would pan out for all three players. Of course, Pogba lifted the cup with France, but Veretout has been nowhere near the France squad, while Kondogbia now represents the Central African Republic.
That World Cup Win Is Not His Only Honour
Veretout made his professional debut with Nantes way back in 2011 as a teenager. He went on to spend nearly five years with the club, making 143 appearances and scoring 15 goals.
In the 2012/2013 Ligue 2 campaign, the midfielder achieved promotion back to Ligue 1 with his boyhood club.
Nantes secured the third and final promotion spot in the league to join Monaco and Guingamp in getting back to the best division in France.
He Will Cost a Hefty Transfer Fee
Despite only costing Aston Villa £8m and Fiorentina £6m, Veretout is now expected to cost Unai Emery's side around £25m. Not cheap, but then again, who is these days?
Many Arsenal fans are not happy about the departure of Aaron Ramsey, which puts pressure on Unai Emery to find a worthy replacement.
With that price tag, Veretout seems like a strange target especially given that Arsenal could go after players like Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure or Cagliari's Nicolo Barella.
Emery Is Familiar With Veretout From Their Time in France
No matter what is said, it is astounding to see Veretout linked with Arsenal. The Gunners have won the league 13 times and have been hugely successful. The box-to-box midfielder was relegated with Aston Villa. Case closed.
Or is it? Arsenal manager Unai Emery has enjoyed an impressive first season with the Gunners and will have over-achieved if he secures Champions League football for next season.
So perhaps the manager knows what he is doing and should not be questioned if he signs Veretout. After all, the Spaniard did witness Veretout line up for Saint-Etienne against his PSG side back in the 2016/17 Ligue 1 season.
Perhaps Veretout's future will be determined by Arsenal's success in the Europa League or Premier League. If the Gunners cannot secure Champions League football for next season, the likelihood of going after players of Veretout's calibre will be more probable.