Arsenal’s Tumble from Christmas Summit Raises Transfer Speculation

Mikel Arteta Faces Striker Conundrum as Gunners Slip to Fourth after New Year’s Eve Defeat

Arsenal, once perched atop the Premier League on Christmas Day, has now found itself in fourth place as 2023 kicks off with a three-game winless streak. The Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat against London rivals Fulham on New Year’s Eve, with Bukayo Saka’s early goal overshadowed by strikes from Raul Jimenez and Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

This recent slump, which includes a draw at Anfield and a home loss to West Ham during the Christmas period, has left Arsenal trailing two points behind leaders Liverpool, having played an extra game. As questions arise about their January transfer plans, the latest headlines link Arsenal to a potential move for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

The Independent reports Arsenal’s interest in the 25-year-old striker, but financial constraints may hinder the deal. Arsenal can’t afford Osimhen’s £120 million release clause due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions unless Napoli lowers their asking price.

Osimhen, renowned for his prowess in front of goal, scored 26 league goals last season, leading Napoli to the Serie A title. With seven goals in 13 league outings this season, he could be a solution to Arsenal’s goal-scoring struggles. Despite scoring 37 goals in the Premier League, only three have come from striker Gabriel Jesus, while Eddie Nketiah has managed just five.

Arteta, however, remains adamant about not splashing the cash in January, stating to Sky Sports on New Year’s Eve, “We have to do what we did in the previous 18 games. With the same players.” Another target for Arsenal is Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who scored 20 Premier League goals last season. Toney, available for selection after a ban for breaching betting rules, is not for sale according to Brentford, currently hovering just above the relegation zone.

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Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp suggests Arteta needs to “be creative” in finding a solution to Arsenal’s No. 9 dilemma. While Ivan Toney remains a fan-favorite, the challenges of acquiring him from a struggling Brentford side may force Arsenal to explore alternative, inventive transfer strategies to address their current goal-scoring woes.

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