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Transfer Talk: Five potential Arsenal targets to replace Jesus
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Dan Fitch
Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo could become Arsenal targets
Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo could become Arsenal targets

Arsenal’s title challenge suffered a major blow when Gabriel Jesus was injured while on World Cup duty with Brazil. 

Jesus was signed from Manchester City over the summer and has had a major impact at the Emirates, scoring five goals and assisting six more in 16 Premier League appearances. 

He was injured in Brazil’s defeat to Cameroon and could be out for the next three months after undergoing surgery on his right knee. 

Following Thursday’s 3-0 friendly victory against Lyon, Mikel Arteta was quizzed about Arsenal’s plan to cope without Jesus and whether they could delve into the transfer market this winter.

The Gunners boss said: "What it affects is who we are as a team because he gives us so much.

"So what we can do after that, when we know the timescale and when we can have him back, we will look at the options and try to make the right decision."

With the signing of a fresh forward a possibility for the Gunners in the January window, here are five players that could fit the bill. 

Mykhaylo Mudryk

In-demand Ukrainian international Mykhaylo Mudryk is a target Arsenal may well revisit having tried and failed to land him in the summer.

Mudryk, 21, would not be a direct replacement for Jesus as he plays on the left wing but would boost Arteta’s forward options as a whole significantly.

With Jesus injured, Arsenal have the option of replacing him with Eddie Nketiah, who scored in the Lyon friendly. 

Signing Mudryk would also allow for Gabriel Martinelli to shift over from the left of Arsenal’s attack to deputise for Jesus. 

Not that he is not a goal threat himself. From his position on the left, he’s scored 11 goals in 19 games for Shakhtar this season, which includes three strikes in six Champions League appearances. 

Cody Gakpo

If Arsenal wanted to make a real statement about their intent to compete for the Premier League title, then Cody Gakpo could be the answer. 

Gakpo has been leading the line for the Netherlands at the World Cup and is one of the top scorers in the tournament with three goals. 

For his club PSV Eindhoven, he normally plays on the left of their attack, where he has scored 13 times and assisted 17 in 24 games. 

One of those assists came in PSV’s 2-0 win against Arsenal in the Europa League, when Gakpo’s corner met the head of Luuk de Jong. 

Though Gakpo could be the perfect signing, his spiralling valuation on the back of his World Cup performances suggest that a summer transfer is far likelier than one in January, with plenty of competition for his signature. 

Cody Gakpo in action against Arsenal
Cody Gakpo in action against Arsenal

Memphis Depay

A more realistic signing for Arsenal is currently lining up for the Netherlands alongside Gakpo.

Memphis Depay’s contract with Barcelona expires in the summer of 2023 and the Catalan giants are said to be keen to recoup a fee for the forward in January. 

That price tag is likely to be set at a bargain level, representing a fraction of the true worth of the 28-year-old. 

Depay was injured at the start of the World Cup, but has reclaimed his starting spot and scored against USA in the last 16 taking his international tally to an impressive 43 goals in 85 appearances. 

The former Manchester United player started as a winger before developing into a striker and has a versatility that could appeal to Arteta. 

Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram could be going cheap in January
Marcus Thuram could be going cheap in January

Another striker that will see his contract expire in the summer is Marcus Thuram. 

Like Depay, the Borussia Monchengladbach forward is likely to be available for a bargain fee in January. 

At a moment when his options are open, Thuram has found the perfect time to hit the form of his life. 

Formally a left winger, the Frenchman has developed into a centre forward and this season has scored 13 goals in 17 appearances for Monchengladbach. 

This form has seen Thuram included in France’s World Cup squad, following in the footsteps of his father Lilian, who was a World Cup winner for Les Bleus in 1998. 

Tammy Abraham

Should Arsenal want someone with Premier League experience, then Tammy Abraham could be the answer. 

The former Chelsea striker moved to Italy with Roma in 2021 and had a fine first season under Jose Mourinho. 

In the 2021-22 campaign, Abraham scored 27 goals in 53 appearances across all competitions, with 17 coming in Serie A. 

This season however, he has only scored four times and lost his place in the England squad for the World Cup. 

Now Roma are said to be interested in a move for Depay, speculation has started regarding Abraham’s possible return to the Premier League with Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea all linked with a move. 

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