Mikel Arteta picks Arsenal striker clone ‘priority’ after Gabriel Jesus – Tom Canton transfer decision

It can often be the case that we fixate on certain players, or at least types of players, that we think would be the best fit for our club and then get incredibly frustrated when they don’t materialize. I know that I have experienced this incident a number of times.

Be it Arsenal’s failure to sign Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio or Dominik Szoboszlai, I was convinced at the time that they would find great success with the Gunners. Most recently I fell into this trap again with Patrik Schick, who has meanwhile signed a new contract with Bayer Leverkusen.

This time, however, I was far less frustrated. Anything to do with a different perspective than the one I had on Schick and Arsenal’s forward hunting profile.

READ MORE: Real Madrid give Arsenal Serge Gnabry transfer hope while Tottenham aim to steal Youri Tielemans

I was certain that with Eddie Nketiah or another similar striker if he was gone, at the club movement was key for a physically contrasting striker with a more aerial threat. Arsenal haven’t had an airborne presence since Olivier Giroud’s departure.

However, that hasn’t stopped them from pinging cross after cross into the penalty area. Gabriel Magalhaes was the league’s top scorer. No wonder considering all Arsenal’s corners were aimed at the Brazilian.

It already makes sense to me that Arsenal should switch to an aerial threat forward. However, it seems Mikel Arteta has chosen a different path.

In response to a question about whether Nketiah’s potential new deal would prevent two more signings in the same role in David Ornstein’s latest Athletic article, the reporter effectively shot down the prospect. He wrote, “I’m gone, but as far as I know, Jesus and Nketiah are the current priority/plan.”

“Current” means things are subject to change, but the information is consistent football.londons to understand that Jesus is at the top of the club’s wish list. Like Nketiah, Jesus is a diminutive forward whose strengths lie not in the air but with the ball at his feet.

This is where the divergent view mentioned above comes into play. The idea that a contrasting striker would be beneficial for Arsenal was clear.

However, having two similar strikers also has a major advantage. Arsenal play on a one-forward system and replacing Jesus and Nketiah in four competitions next season would mean little to no change in the way Arsenal play.

Change the profile of the forward and the build would have to cater to the specific characteristics of the forward. However, switching between two strikers of similar shape and momentum can be continued with relative ease.

Jesus was involved in this style of rotation under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. He previously rotated with Sergio Aguero, another smaller striker. Has since traded with Phil Foden and Jack Grealish for the central position of City’s front three.

Liverpool have used Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the centre. Three players who would hardly be described as physically imposing. The success of these two sides in winning every trophy English football has to offer this season is not surprising given this dynamic of forward options. So maybe it’s fair that Mikel Arteta also wants to follow this form and have forwards that fit the same parameters?

Should a deal come about for Jesus, hopefully next season will provide an answer as to whether it worked. If this is not the case, you can be sure that there will be criticism.

Leave a Comment