Friday, June 24, 2022

A Look Into Arsenal’s Window

Arsenal has closed a few low-profile signings in the current window, but major splashes might still lie ahead for the Gunners. Gabriel Jesus remains the marquee name associated with Arsenal. The Manchester City forward is currently in the shop window for Manchester City and is linked with a move to the Gunners. Jesus would clearly be an upgrade over any attacker currently on the Arsenal roster. The forward has scored 95 goals in 236 appearances for City. Despite a lack of Champions League football next season, Arsenal offers the Manchester City forward an opportunity to reunite with Mikel Arteta who worked with Jesus while the Arsenal manager was an assistant at Manchester City. Jesus will need to trust in an Arteta commitment to provide the additional playing time the player is unlikely to find in Manchester, particularly after the arrival of Erling Haaland.

A potential Jesus signing is not without questions for Arsenal. Arsenal desperately needs a striker to bolster a deficient attack but does Jesus, despite his obvious talents, fulfill that role? Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola played several players in a “false nine” role last season in a clear indictment of Jesus as a central force. The Brazilian has often seemed more comfortable on the right flank where Arsenal already has rising home grown star Bukayo Saka. Gabriel Martinelli, who is on the fringes of the Brazilian national team as is Jesus, also plays on the right-hand side of Arsenal’s front line with occasional appearances in the middle.

The Gunner’s need a solution to their striker problem after the ugly departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona last season and the departure of Alexander Lacazette on a free transfer after his contract expires this month. Arsenal academy product Eddie Nketiah showed flashes at striker last season but remains an uncertain option. Lacazette’s departure is just the latest example of poor business conducted by the Gunners. Arsenal’s net spending on transfers is higher than any other Premier League club for the period covering the last five transfer windows. Unfortunately, the failure to recoup any value from the departure of top players such as Aubameyang and Lacazette accounts for this standing rather than any incoming big-ticket stars. Recently signed deals have been relatively modest. Fabio Vieira was signed from Porto earlier this month. The young attacking midfielder scored six goals in 27 Primeira Liga appearances last season and has noteworthy playmaking skills. Vieira’s top-level experience, however, is limited to two seasons of regular duty in the Porto line-up and the small framed youngster is expected to take time to adapt to the physical play of the Premier League. 19-year-old Brazilian forward Marquinhos, singed from Sao Palo, also represents a longer-term investment. US goalkeeper Matt Turner was signed during the January window and joins Arsenal this month from MLS ‘s New England Revolution. Jesus would be a different level acquisition. Similarly, Arsenal supporters would be thrilled if the Gunners could also secure the services of Jesus’s fellow Brazilian Rafinha. The attacking midfielder for Leeds has been linked with Arsenal and PSG but the Brazilian supposedly covets playing for Barcelona.

Arsenal is also rumored to be in the running for the signature of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. The Gunners, however, are unlikely to splash the cash on multiple star players without generating monies from clearing the roster of some current players. Standing in that departures queue should be winger Nicolas Pepe who has disappointed after his club record signing. However, there is little interest from other clubs after Pepe netted just one goal in 20 Premier League appearances last season. As with Aubameyang, whose transfer cost was the Gunner’s previous record before Pepe’s arrival, the Gunners will have difficulty salvaging any reasonable portion of their original transfer investment. That type of business impacts the monies available as Manager Mikel Arteta attempts to strengthen his club. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: