Arsenal are coming towards the end of their major rebuild under Mikel Arteta, and the Spaniard may finally be able to sign the final piece of the puzzle in the summer.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta may finally be able to sign the final piece of his puzzle in the summer transfer window, Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.
Arteta has been offered time, money and patience in his bid to revamp the Gunners and transform them into the club that they once were – winning silverware and being title contenders. Last summer’s £150million investment was much-needed.
The arrivals of Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard have all played significant roles in putting the club on target for a top-four finish – though North London rivals Tottenham have a fighting chance of stealing that feat.
But there will be no excuses for Arteta not to secure Champions League football at the very, very minimum if Jesus does arrive at the Emirates Stadium. The Brazilian’s arrival will mean that the manager has brought in key players in every are a new goalkeeper, defence and midfielder and frontline at that point.
Reports have circulated that Jesus is considering leaving City in the summer, with Erling Haaland set to be the long-awaited no.9 that the Etihad Stadium outfit has been crying out for. But the forward is not just going to be a striker option for Arteta, as his time at City evidences that he provides much more than that.
Jesus can be deployed on either wing, as well as up top, meaning that he will be able to lead the line when Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both depart in the summer when their contracts expire. And his arrival could pave the way for Nicolas Pepe to depart, who has been vocal in how he is unhappy with his lack of game time with Arsenal.
Therefore, Arteta could even dip into the transfer market once more to sign another striker if he sees Jesus as more of a wide player – providing a different sort of option compared to Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka. Though it could also mean that the manager is keen to move into a formation with two strikers – even if that means Jesus playing alongside Martinelli up top.
With so many options, the higher powers could view next season as one of the biggest of their recent times. Arteta has certainly progressed the Arsenal team and his investment into youth means that he has laid the foundations for future success at the club, but whether he has what it takes to orchestrate a title charge remains to be seen.
Missing out on the top four this season, following Spurs’ recent poor form and are two points behind their rivals, would be devastating for Arteta. Speaking about the race for Champions League football last weekend, he said: “This changes so quickly, but my belief is that we’re going to give it a real go, we can win football matches, but the margins are very small and we have to be very aware of that. Winning and losing in this league and where we are today, is defined by the small margins, so everything has to be there to take the game where we want at the end of the 95 minutes.”
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