Arsenal were unable to sign a winger in the summer transfer window, despite the clear need to strengthen in the wide areas. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have a lot of pressure to perform until the next opportunity to address this area of the pitch opens, but there is a risk of burnout.
One player who the club were reportedly looking to sign in the summer transfer window was Cody Gakpo. But, a deal never materialised, meaning the winger stayed in Eindhoven following the market’s closing.
However, the Dutch winger has been performing excellently since the closure of the summer transfer window. For this reason, Leeds United are reportedly looking to wrap up a deal that Edu must not allow.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Leeds have already agreed to personal terms with Gakpo and are working on agreeing a fee with PSV for the winger. However, Arsenal must prevent this deal from going any further.
Arsenal beat Liverpool on the weekend due to the huge influence from wide areas. Saka had 43 touches, 15 final third passes and scored two goals, which made him the match-winner after he scored a clutch penalty in the last 10 minutes of the match to give the Gunners a 3-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Martinelli had 54 touches. He created two chances and registered a goal and an assist. The Brazilian was a threat from kick-off as he set the tone for the match with his goal after 58 seconds of the match.
But for the youngsters to keep this level of performance and intensity, there will be times during the season when they will need rest. With a lack of depth in quality in the wide areas, this has not been the case for Saka or Martinelli, with Arteta forced to play both in the Europa League group stage. This season is due to a lack of options, which could lead to burnout.
Gakpo could be the solution to this as Arsenal were one of several Premier League clubs interested in PSV winger Gakpo, football.london understands. Further reports have gone on to say that he could be signed for around £35million.
He played 42 games on the left-hand side for PSV last season and played another three games as a centre-forward. However, he has shown a clinical nature from whatever position he is playing in, as he scored 19 goals from the left wing and two goals in three games as a striker.
Despite the doubts concerning the winger’s ability to adapt to the Premier League due to the physicality, the Dutchman has already ticked some of Arteta’s boxes when it comes to being important in the dressing room, which has been proven by the fact that Gakpo is vice-captain at PSV. It highlights that he would certainly adapt to the culture at Arsenal.
If Arsenal want to sign their long-term target in Gakpo, then Edu must be proactive in completing this deal. With other Premier League clubs still on the hunt for the winger, the Gunners will have to place themselves in the best negotiation place, and they can do that by exploring a deal before the window reopens, similar to how Leeds reportedly have.
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