Is Cody Gakpo The Forward Arsenal Need To Prioritise This Summer?

Mikel Arteta is still in need of a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
08:00, 30 Mar 2022

PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo is one of Europe’s hottest talents right now and it’s being reported that there is going to be a tug of war over his signature from a host of European clubs in the summer.

Arsenal are believed to be in the race for the 22-year-old’s signature and they will not be put off by the fact that he recently extended his contract with the Dutch club until 2026. The reason why the Gunners will not be put off the new deal is because Gakpo’s stats have been outstanding this season. He has scored 16 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions this season and with that sort of quality in the final third, as well as his young age, it’s not surprising that Mikel Arteta is interested in luring the Dutchman to the Emirates Stadium.

It is believed that the winger would be available for around £42million, and in today’s market that is an excellent price for someone who is already producing incredible numbers from out wide. Arsenal are currently believed to be the favourites for the Netherlands international’s signature but they are set to face fierce competition from Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. They were strongly linked with the attacker in January after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed for Barcelona and fellow forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both have their contracts expiring at the end of the campaign. 

There is a real need for Arteta to boost his attacking ranks if his two senior forwards were to depart North London in the summer and while Gakpo isn’t naturally a striker his cutting edge in front of goal could see him transition centrally later in his career as a false nine, something that Arteta could utilise in his system, taking inspiration from his mentor, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

He has already set the trend as Arsenal boss of building a young squad and Gakpo would be another welcome addition to the project in N7 but it is fair to assume that the player’s next destination would depend on Champions League qualification. As we know the race for fourth in the Premier League is tight and Arsenal currently occupy the coveted spot, three points ahead of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur with 10 games remaining. The transformation that the Gunners have undergone over the course of 2021-22 alone has been remarkable, especially when they were at the bottom of the Premier League after three games.

Many Arsenal fans were quick to call for the manager’s head but he seems to have won them over now as his ideas are becoming visible on the pitch and there is a growing feeling that the club is finding its way back to competing at the highest level. To maintain this upward trajectory, Arsenal will have to keep strengthening and a player with the natural ability that Gakpo possesses is just what they need to help take them to the next level while also adding more quality to the depth within the Gunners’ squad. If Arsenal maintain their current form and return to the Champions League for the first time in five years, signing Gakpo for under £50million would be a great piece of business.

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