The striker position has been an absolute priority for Arsenal this summer following the departures of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The aging duo was the Gunners’ front-line attack for several seasons as the club continued to regress.
It was time for an overhaul, but there were few who probably thought Eddie Nketiah would be such a big part of it. The Arsenal academy graduate is set to earn a serious salary increase after signing a new five-year contract with the club.
In addition to the former England under-21 captain, Arsenal are in the process of closing a deal to bring Gabriel Jesus to the club. This is not to be underestimated; Jesus is a proven Premier League striker with many titles to his name and praised by Pep Guardiola for his wide range of strengths.
READ MORE: Gabriel Jesus decision at Arsenal leaves Spurs and Antonio Conte sweating for Raphinha
However, after Jesus’ renovation and takeover, it looks like Arsenal’s work in the forward department will end here. The club is eyeing forward Raphinha and versatile defender Lisandro Martínez, but there is no word on more central signings.
That means Jesus and Nketiah would be the Gunners’ only options for the new season. Folarin Balogun could be a third, although he looks destined for another loan spell, having shown his Championship quality to some extent with Middlesbrough.
When you take into account the summer in which Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner signed more forward deals for Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha, Lisandro Martinez and a possible midfield addition also costs and it makes sense that another striker is not being bought Maybe Had Arsenal qualified for the Champions League instead of renewing Nketiah, could more money have been made available to pursue another striker? We may never know for sure.
However, Nketiah’s renewal shouldn’t be a reason to turn up your nose. If the Gunners had signed a player with five goals in their last eight Premier League games, it would have been interesting to see the reaction and how different it would have been to Nketiah’s new contract.
Despite supposedly high salaries, which would likely still be lower than those of a striker signing, Arsenal avoided paying an additional transfer fee that can now be directed to another area of need. Something that could be crucial next season.
With all that being said, the window display could still bring some surprises and with more than two months to go, there might be one in store closer to completion. A loan move to a target man, or Plan B style striker, would be my choice.
SEE MORE INFORMATION:
Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha and Youri Tielemans: Arsenal transfer schedule for summer signings
How Raphinha’s arrival at Arsenal will affect Bukayo Saka as Mikel Arteta plans wing roles
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