Transfer

Arsenal now eyeing “young Zlatan” to replace Jesus

Arsenal could be offered a cut-price striker solution this summer after it emerged that they could snag a previous target for just £43m thanks to a release clause that activates at the end of the season.

Arteta gunning for the title

After falling at the final hurdle last season, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta look better prepared for a title challenge despite being part of the chasing pack, rather than the frontrunners, this time around.

More resilient at the back and more comfortable dealing with absentees (the likes of Thomas Partey, Jurrien Timber, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko), they are keeping pace with Manchester City and have already beaten both them and Liverpool in style in the Premier League this season.


Bukayo-Saka-Arsenal

There is still plenty of room for improvement though, and for that they are likely to turn to the transfer market.

Arsenal on the hunt for a new number nine

It is no secret that Arsenal are set to be in the market for a striker this summer. After watching their performances over the 2023/24 season, many would agree with former Gunners legend Ian Wright, who has called out for the club to sign a ‘killer’. But who they will end up remains unclear.

They have previously been linked with moves for Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney, but the Nigerian striker appears to be set on a switch to PSG while Toney would be an expensive addition given his Premier League and English background.

A cheaper option could present itself in the form of Benjamin Sesko, who both Arsenal and Chelsea were linked to during his time at RB Salzburg, only for him to make the switch to sister club RB Leipzig instead.

Once compared to a “young Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, he has already hit double figures in all competitions for the Bulls and has six Bundesliga goals despite starting just eight games in the German top flight.


benjamin-sesko-rb-leipzig-premier-league

He would certainly offer a different prospect to current Arsenal options, and is closer to the mould of the likes of Erling Haaland and Rasmus Hojlund. Standing at 6 foot 4, he has been clocked at a mega 36.1 km/hr top speed in the past, making him something of a physical freak. Given that the only Premier League players to ever clock beyond 37 km/ph are Tottenham’s Micky Van de Ven and Manchester City fullback Kyle Walker, he could prove a nightmare for defenders, and it’s no surprise fans have said he has the “speed of Mbappe and the size of Haaland“.

Then there is his ability in front of goal. As it stands, he has scored six Bundesliga goals from an expected goals of just 3.6. Though a very small sample size, it shows his finishing ability. On the other side, a recent study showed that Arsenal trio Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz are among the worst under-performers of their expected goals in the Premier League, with all three ranking in the top five last season.

Player

Goals

xG

xG underperformance

Stats from before Burnley match*

Kai Havertz

7

12.78

-5.78

Patrick Bamford

4

9.77

-5.77

Eddie Nketiah

4

9.22

-5.22

Darwin Nunez

9

14.37

-5.37

Gabriel Jesus

11

16.17

-5.17

It means that often games are closer than they should be for Mikel Arteta’s side, while the likes of Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland are able to carry their rivals through encounters with ease.

With a summer release clause set at just £43m, the 20-year-old could well be a cheap alternative to some of the astonishingly expensive players already looking set to be on the market this summer, but the Gunners are unlikely to be alone in their admiration of the star, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Barcelona all reportedly joining Mikel Arteta’s side in showing an interest in the talent.

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