It is no surprise to anyone that Arsenal is looking for a striker with much urgency. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure for Barcelona in January left the Northern London club with a hole it was unable to fill during the winter transfer window, and with Alexandre Lacazette being at an all-time low in terms of goal-scoring output — and apparently having problems with coach Mikel Arteta — a striker is a prime need in the “Gunner” team.
It was recently reported by Jorge Nicola that Edu Gaspar, Arsenal’s technical director, has been in talks with Gabriel Jesus’ agents for several months for a possible signing of the Brazilian striker, who is currently serving for Manchester City: a direct rival in the fight for the top spots in the Premier League. At this moment, though, neither club has formally considered a deal for the player.
Gabriel Jesus’ current contract with Manchester City expires in 2023, and while the club has yet to begin contract negotiations with the Brazilian striker, it does not want to create a climate of speculation about his future.
How likely is the signing of Gabriel Jesus with Arsenal?
Gabriel Jesus arrived in England from Palmeiras in 2016 with all the makings of one of Brazil’s brightest future talents. In his time with Manchester City, he has not had a bad performance in terms of numbers, but the truth is that the player has never been able to make a place for himself in the Sky Blues’ starting eleven .
Thanks to Pep Guardiola’s tactical scheme with a false nine and with other players being above him in the team pecking order, the Brazilian has had limited minutes since his arrival at the club. Only two of his five complete seasons with the team have seen him score more than 10 league goals. Additionally, only two have seen him score more than 20 goals in all competitions.
His lack of playing time and lack of consideration from Guardiola could get worse in the future considering that Manchester City has already signed Julián Álvarez, who is on loan with River Plate at the moment, and it has also been reported that the team is eyeing Erling Haaland for next season, which would leave the Brazilian with a lesser role in the team.
In addition to this, it should be remembered that Gabriel Jesus and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta have already worked together during the Spaniard’s time at City as Guardiola’s assistant, so his arrival at Arsenal would mean a reunion for both of them.
Are there more options for Arsenal?
Considering Gabriel Jesus’ abilities, he does not appear to be the striker Arsenal requires. The Brazilian is more of a team player and a mobile striker with some goal-scoring issues, traits that the “Gunners” already have in Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. The fact that both are out of contract in June only increases the importance of finding a suitable replacement in the market.
While Gabriel Jesus can contribute to associative play, he is not the box-to-box striker that Arsenal requires. The club already tried to acquire the services of Dušan Vlahović in January, although the player ended up opting for Juventus. It is rumored that Arsenal has another player in their sights: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton striker, who could play number nine.
Options are on the table, and there is still time for next season, but Edu and Arsenal need to start moving soon.