Arsenal could already be looking ahead to next summer, despite the 2023/24 calendar only just commencing for Mikel Arteta’s squad.
The Gunners have spent sufficiently in the transfer window, using over £200m to acquire the likes of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, David Raya and Declan Rice, however, reports have suggested that the north Londoners could already be preparing to spend big again in the near future.
An early defensive blow to Timber has left Arteta and Edu poised to delve back into the market to equip another defender, although other positions could be addressed at a later date.
Who could Arsenal sign?
While defenders such as Marc Guehi, Edmond Tapsoba and Joao Cancelo have been rumoured as being potential targets at the Emirates by the Express, new reports have shed light on the Gunners’ plans to identify a striker.
As reported by FootballTransfers, Arsenal are speculated to be plotting an audacious swoop in 2024 for young Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson.
The Irish wonderkid, who is valued at a whopping £100m by the Seagulls, could be at the top of Arteta’s list next year, with the site’s sources claiming that he is on the club’s radar.
The report adds that despite Manchester United eyeing the forward, it’s Arsenal that are ‘most likely’ to make a swoop for his talent next summer.
What could Evan Ferguson offer to Arsenal?
Since the ugly departure of marksman Robin van Persie back in 2012, it’s questionable as to whether the Gunners have ever sufficiently replaced the Dutchman’s prowess in front of goal.
In terms of out-and-out strikers, the Emirates has been deprived, with the closest claim to being a prolific goalscorer being Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, who netted 92 goals in 163 appearances in red and white.
When you revise the strike options of all top teams in Europe, a reliable leader of the line is evident, making it glaringly obvious that hiring a competent finisher could bridge the gap between Arsenal and the continent’s elite.
Gabriel Jesus was acquired from Manchester City last summer, and despite the energy and skill that he brings to Arteta’s squad, the fact remains that the Brazilian has never scored over 15 Premier League goals in a season.
By selling Jesus, City made way for Erling Haaland, whose scoring nature needs little introduction, as he fired his club to the treble by scoring 52 goals in the 2022/23 campaign.
While finding another Haaland is not an option, Arsenal could instead unearth another Haaland by signing Ferguson, who at just 18 years of age has been likened to the Norwegian in terms of statistical profile by FBref.
In only 10 Premier League starts last season at Brighton, the Irishman scored six goals, showing no fear in the final third and being dubbed as “sensational” by U23 scout Antonio Mango.
While his tally is far from being comparable to City’s goliath, his ability to get into the right positions and score suggests he does possess the innate attributes of a goalscorer, as highlighted by his average of 0.57 non-penalty goals per 90 in the Premier League last season.
The signs are there for Ferguson to have the skills in his locker to become a top striker, and with him only being 18, his progression and future will certainly be something to watch for years to come.
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