Arsenal’s top four failure could curtail multiple striker signings
When the bean counters at Arsenal are busy planning the budget for next season, the 2021-22 campaign will inevitably factor within their considerations. The level of spending made available may also be dictated by just one result, as the Premier League heads into the final round of games.
Having lost their last two games, firstly in the crucial North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, then following that with an equally frustrating loss at Newcastle United, any chance of clinching fourth spot has been scattered to the winds. When push came to shove, this team buckled under the pressure, indicating that youthful exuberance was never going to be enough.
The current Arsenal team has clearly lacked enough keystone players, capable of underpinning the side with experience and leadership. Amongst the 13 players who made 20 appearances or more in the Premier League, just three are aged 25 or older, and one of this trio will be leaving the club as his contract expires. 30-year-old Alexander Lacazette wants away after running down his Arsenal contract, and is keen on joining a club in the Champions League.
Arsenal set to make £35m Gabriel Jesus offer with Man City ‘expecting striker to make transfer request to leave’ https://t.co/JwbXvRJy1X
— The Sun – Arsenal (@SunArsenal) May 19, 2022
Considering the poor contribution of just 4 Premier League goals from Lacazette this term, it seems unlikely that fans will be weeping at his departure, although there is a broader problem for the club. Fellow striker Eddie Nketiah is also out of contract on 30th June, amidst rumours that Liverpool and Chelsea are monitoring the situation, despite him never likely to be more than a backup signing for either club.
This leaves the Gunners needing to find and sign two quality replacements, which is easier said than done without the lure of Champions League football. First and foremost, featuring in the elite European competition would have boosted available funds, giving the club more options and possibly a greater incentive to spend big. Competing in the Europa League just doesn’t bring in the same kind of economic returns.
Instead of bidding for two top quality strikers in the summer, Arsenal could be forced to make some difficult choices. Over the last couple of months, the club has been constantly linked with two key attacking targets. They are want-away Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Benfica striker Darwin Nuñez. Inevitably, signing either or both would imply spending a serious chunk of change.
At the moment, the most viable option would seem to be Jesus, given his agents have indicated that even without Champions League football, the 25-year-old Brazilian seems positive about Arteta’s project at Arsenal. However, latest reports in The Sun claim that Arsenal are set to make a £35 million offer, while Man City want closer to £55 million. His current club expects the player to make a formal transfer request.
Regarding the speculation surrounding Arsenal’s reported interest in swooping for Nuñez, any serious move for the Uruguayan seems unlikely, unless the bid for Jesus falls through for whatever reason. Benfica are expected to demand around £84 million for the 22-year-old, who scored 34 goals in 41 games in all competitions, with Manchester United also hovering with intent ahead of their squad rebuild.
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) May 17, 2022
The harsh reality is that without Champions League football, Arsenal will inevitably be forced to choose their targets and transfer spending very carefully, opting to move for one rather than both of these exciting striker options. The club might still make funds available for a second attacking signing, albeit with a reduced spend in mind, which also rules out potential candidates like Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen at Napoli.
Ahead of any confirmed transfer moves, Arsenal are already priced as distant outsiders in the 2022-23 Premier League winner markets, while bookies also doubt Arteta’s capacity to get the Gunners into the top four next season. For the bigger picture, Asiabet aims to help fans discover the best online sports betting in Thailand, reviewing sites with excellent security and player safety, along with highlighting where to find the latest amazing offers and bonuses.
Meanwhile, it seems as though Arsenal fans will have to settle for just the one big-name striker signing this summer. Far more likely is that along with any new centre forward arriving, Arteta will continue to put his faith in Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, who are both being encouraged to develop their central attacking play.