As the January transfer window grows closer and closer, Arsenal will be eyeing suitable reinforcements to ensure Mikel Arteta’s squad can maintain their credentials as Premier League title challengers.
Injuries have tainted the manager’s options to field the Gunners’ best XI consistently, adding pressure to the club’s need to hire additional bodies in the winter window to rectify the quality available in the squad.
The strike department is one of the notable areas needing extra resources, with Gabriel Jesus’ injury record unreliable, and Eddie Nketiah’s conviction in front of goal also unreliable, leaving Arsenal short of inspiration in the final third.
Luckily for the north Londoners, the January transfer window is not far away, and the Gunners have already been linked to a host of players that could find sanctuary at the Emirates in the near future.
While Jesus leads the way as Arteta’s favoured number nine, the former Manchester City whiz isn’t what some would call a clinical forward, having never scored more than 14 Premier League goals in a season during his eight-year stay in the top flight.
The Brazil international’s lack of proficiency when it matters could be the difference between Arsenal and other title challengers, and as a result, a handful of targets have been tipped to replace the 26-year-old.
Dusan Vlahovic – Juventus
The report adds that the Gunners were interested in the Serbian prior to his move to Juve in January 2022, when he made the move from Fiorentina to the Bianconeri after excelling with the Viola from the youth ranks.
At the age of 23, Vlahovic already has 99 domestic goals to his name, supporting his claim to being a strong asset for Arsenal to target in the bid to capture themselves a reliable source of goals in the winter.
While the 6 foot 3 dynamo stole the headlines for his 44 goals in 98 Serie A appearances for Fiorentina, he has failed to hit similar levels since making the move to Turin, where the Serbia international has only netted 21 goals in Serie A in almost two years.
Once lauded as being “everything you need” in a striker by Micah Richards, the €80m-rated (£70m) ace has been starved of the creative outlet he once received at Fiorentina, which has been detrimental to his form, as explained by Alessio Tacchinardi, via Football Italia.
Santiago Gimenez – Feyenoord
Another sensation in Europe that is said to be capturing the Gunners’ eye is Feyenoord hitman, Santiago Gimenez.
Back in September, a report via 90min relayed that Arsenal had sent scouts to watch the 22-year-old in action, with his goalscoring form since his move to the Eredivisie something hard to ignore.
In the summer of 2022, Feyenoord signed the Mexican striker from Cruz Azul after he’d shown high potential for his direct playing style and five goals in five games in the 2022/23 league campaign prior to his exit.
The Dutch outfit hit the jackpot in acquiring his signature, seeing him score 23 goals in all competitions last term, ending his first spell in the Eredivisie as the third-highest scorer in the league.
While last season was impressive, the Mexico international looks to be on an even higher trajectory this term, having already scored 15 goals in 15 games, 13 of which have come in just 12 Eredivisie appearances.
At the start of the season, Gimenez scored in eight consecutive matches following the opening day, explaining why Feyenoord are said to value their hero at €100m (£87m) ahead of the opening of the transfer window, via 90min.
Dubbed a “machine” by talent scout Jacek Kulig for his clinical streak, the 2001-born gem averages a goal every 74 minutes in the league this campaign, posing as the ideal upgrade on Jesus, whose scoring frequency sits at 372 minutes in the 2023/24 Premier League.
With two goals in two Champions League appearances so far, Gimenez has proven himself among Europe’s elite, suggesting that he could be a player who would flourish in playing at the level of the English top-flight.
Ivan Toney – Brentford
While both Vlahovic and Gimenez are clinical in their sides, fellow Arsenal target Ivan Toney could be the missing piece to Arteta’s puzzle in attack.
The Englishman has been mentioned with reference to the Gunners predominantly after his feature on the Diary of a CEO podcast, in which he named the north Londoners as a team he “liked” when asked about potential new clubs.
In January, the 27-year-old’s ban from football will expire, leaving Brentford braced to receive a wave of interest in their talisman, who is said to be valued at £100m by the Bees, as per The Mirror.
Arsenal were mentioned in that report as the side that Thomas Frank’s side will hope to ‘block’ interest from, with his presence an undeniably attractive force that would bolster Arteta’s options in the number nine role.
Toney would be the most suited striker to the Gunners due to his experience in the Premier League, an attribute that becomes a gamble when hiring players from abroad with little guarantee that they will adapt to the demands of the English game.
To put into perspective what the England international could offer to the Emirates, the Northampton-born talisman has scored 32 Premier League goals over the past two seasons, with Jesus only scoring 28 in the previous three.
Arteta could thrive in adding the pace, power and Premier League-proven attributes of Toney to the squad, in a move that could bridge the gap between the Gunners and treble-winners Manchester City.