Arsenal finished the summer transfer window with just Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as the forward options going into the season. A lot of pressure has been placed on both forwards with a heavy fixture schedule due to the Europa League.
However, both strikers started in the Gunners’ 1-0 Europa League group stage victory against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday evening. It was the first time that the pair started in a competitive game together this season.
If this becomes a regular occurrence, then it could open up a new transfer possibility for Edu, as an additional forward would need to be signed. This seems to be the case as Arsenal have been linked to Joao Felix but this potential deal is in jeopardy.
According to Spanish news outlet Deportes Cuatro, Manchester United may make a January move for Atletico Madrid’s Felix. The Red Devils reportedly see the forward as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has recent been banished from the first team after a series of disciplinary breaches.
Manchester United’s interest in the striker comes after reports from Marca that Felix wants to leave Atletico Madrid this winter. His agent Jorge Mendes is already looking for a new club due to a lack of gametime under Diego Simeone.
But the thirteen-time Premier League winners are not the only English club interested in the Portuguese international. According to Spanish news outlet El Chringuito, Arsenal are also interested in signing the young star.
The forward was highly touted by Europe’s biggest clubs after his amazing Europa League run with Benfica during the 2018/2019 season. It was Atletico Madrid who signed him later in that summer for a blockbuster £114m transfer, as the youngster was tipped to become one of the world’s best players.
However, since joining the La Liga side his growth has taken a hit due to a clash in the style of play between him and Simeone, which has not been helped by the delay in injuries. Despite the differences between the player and the manager, Felix has still displayed glimpses of the quality he can bring when given the freedom to express himself.
Despite Gabriel Jesus’ arrival, Edu still needs to add more firepower to Arteta’s options in the upcoming transfer windows. Eddie Nketiah and Jesus will need more goal support from different sources in the team. Felix has tons of European experience having made 34 appearances in Europe League and scoring 10 goals in the process, showing that he would be a good alternative option from a goalscoring perspective for the Gunners.
The Gunners’ boss has been utilising Jesus as a striker throughout the early weeks of the season. However, his comments before the start of the campaign about the Brazilian suggests that he also wants to use him in a different role, more specifically the wing position. The same also applies to Nketiah who has already played in the wing role, as seen against PSV on Thursday evening.
But for the Spaniard to continue utilising this option, another forward must be signed to provide depth alongside Nketiah and Jesus . The Gunners have been given a chance to do this by signing Felix from Atletico Madrid.
Speaking about Jesus, Arteta said: “His versatility is well known. Now we are using him as a nine. He can play as a winger, off the left and the right. You can play with two strikers as we have done in pre-season as and change the shape a little bit. He gives us a lot of flexibility.”
For Arsenal to get a deal over the line it would certainly prove costly, and Manchester United’s presence in a potential deal would only make his incoming more difficult.
But, Felix has already shown what a quality player he is and why it could be worth breaking the bank. Last season in the Champions League, the Portuguese international played against both Manchester clubs and performed excellently across both ties. The question of him adapting to the Premier League on a physicality level should not be considered a concern. If a deal is possible, then Edu should look to explore a transfer.
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