The north Londoners came agonisingly close to winning the league last season, however battles with injury and lack of squad depth exposed the weaknesses of Arteta’s side, blemishes that are already showing this term.
The January transfer window will be fundamental for the manager to bolster his squad and combat injury scares without fear, with another title race there for Arsenal to be a part of if form can be maintained for the entirety of the season.
Aside from building depth around the first team, the Gunners could also look to improve their current favoured XI, with a range of positions speculated to be targeted for improvements in the near future.
A report from the Mirror explained that the midfield is Arteta and Edu’s first port of call to strengthen in January, with links also made to a number of forwards to add more of a prolific presence to the already dazzling front line.
Arsenal transfer targets – forwards
The Englishman is claimed to be valued at £100m by the Bees, with a report from the Mirror stating that the west Londoners’ valuation of their striker comes in an attempt to ward off Arsenal’s interest.
Last season, the 27-year-old finished third in the Premier League scoring charts behind Erling Haaland and Harry Kane with 20 goals, reinforcing how potent he could be in Arteta’s attack.
Earlier this month, Football Transfers claimed that the 23-year-old remains as Arteta’s preferred number nine target, following on from the Gunners’ interest in the forward last January prior to his move to Turin.
In a refreshed report from Italy, as relayed by The Sun, it’s claimed that the Premier League outfit look ‘set to beat’ the likes of Real Madrid to the 6 foot 3 dynamo, with the forward’s price tag said to be in the region of £50m.
With a current market value of €80m (£70m), Arsenal could capture a bargain in signing the Serbian for a lesser price than his value, with Vlahovic possessing a host of attributes that could take the squad to the next level.
Dusan Vlahovic’s career in numbers
With 116 domestic goal contributions in 230 appearances, the Juventus hitman has cemented himself as one of the most potent forwards in Europe following his rise at Fiorentina.
Despite struggling to hit such levels since that season, the 23-year-old would undoubtedly be a strong signing for the Gunners, with his ability to convert far greater than the current options on show at the Emirates.
Why Dusan Vlahovic would be a good signing for Arsenal
Former Juventus midfielder Alessio Tacchinardi explained how the reason for the Serbia international’s dip in scoring form is attributed to Juve’s playing style, saying that the team don’t “put him in a position to score” or “create chances”, as relayed by Football Italia.
In the instance that the 23-year-old signed for Arsenal, the issue surrounding the Serie A giant’s negative playing style would dissolve, with the Gunners creating 73 big chances last season in the Premier League.
What the notorious goalscorer could bring to north London is a more reliable presence to lead the line, as communicated in the table below.
Dusan Vlahovic vs Gabriel Jesus career stats
Highest scoring season
21 Serie A goals 20/21
14 Premier League goals 19/20
Figures via Transfermarkt
Currently, Gabriel Jesus prevails comfortably as Arteta’s favoured number nine, however the Brazilian isn’t as clinical in the final third as one would assume for a striker.
Arriving in the Premier League in 2017, Jesus’ highest scoring tally in a Premier League season is the 14 goals he netted for Manchester City in the 2019/20 campaign, numbers far below the expected levels for a centre-forward.
Despite him shying away from recording show-stopping goal tallies, the 26-year-old offers a host of qualities to Arsenal’s front line aside from putting the ball in the net, making him a difficult player to drop from the team.
How Gabriel Jesus could make room for Dusan Vlahovic
If Arsenal were to sign Vlahovic, the assumption would be that the Serbian would replace Jesus based solely on his more prolific track record in front of goal, although Arteta could opt to utilise both forwards to an even greater effect.
Previously, the manager has opted to play two forwards in a 4-4-2 formation at the Emirates, which has been replicated in play through Martin Odegaard’s ability to assume more advanced positions when play is progressing.
The Spaniard could replicate his past set-ups by fielding Jesus alongside Vlahovic, combining the Brazilian’s creative energy with the 23-year-old’s assured finishing ability.
Gabriel Jesus 22/23 Premier League
Rank in squad
Dribbles per game
Key passes per game
Shots per game
Aerials won per game
Figures via WhoScored
As portrayed in the table above, Jesus supplied a constant threat and energy in Arsenal’s front line last season, with his movement and relentless desire to be in possession making him an essential outlet in Arteta’s side.
If paired with Vlahovic, the manager could reap the benefits of the four-time Premier League without the pressure of him being the sole leader of the line and more of a playmaker than the summit of the squad.
Fuelling the strengths that the Brazil international consistently showcases at the Emirates could be a smart move for Arteta, who could also play a part in reviving Vlahovic’s proficiency in front of goal by providing him with a creative asset as complete as Jesus.
Only time will tell how serious the Gunners are in battling to secure the Juventus star’s signature, particularly if his form fails to kick start throughout the remainder of 2023.