A home defeat against Manchester United saw the Gunners suffering an early FA Cup exit on Friday night. While they are still in contention to secure a ‘top four’ return after a couple of years of anguish under former chief Arsene Wenger, new boss Unai Emery must be feeling the heat now amidst the necessity of strengthening the squad by the end of this month.
Arsenal does not have the financial luxury to seal permanent deals in the ongoing January transfer window. But that has not stopped them from seeking loan signings and the Barcelona attacker Malcom is the latest name to be linked with the North Londoners, according to the Sun.
The 21-year-old Brazilian completed a high-profile summer transfer from Bordeaux but has struggled to make it into Ernesto Valverde’s plans. He has made only one league start this term, and therefore, needs more minutes to keep himself sharp. A temporary switch elsewhere should be welcomed by the Catalans and Arsenal. The Gunners especially are in desperate need of a wide attacker and must step up the chase now before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Emery has been forced to deploy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down the flank with no outright winger available for the North London side except Alex Iwobi. Neither Mesut Ozil nor Henrikh Mkhitaryan is suited for that role, and the inclusion of Malcom would strengthen them offensively for the remainder of the season.
Arsenal were apparently after Denis Suarez, the other Barca outcast who was also being lined up on a six-month loan deal. But talks have been stalled of late, and the Gunners have now switched their focus on his teammate.
The Selecao youth international has a strong left foot and prefers to operate from the right flank. He is known for his holding ability, directness, shooting and set-piece skills along with strong dribbling and crossing attributes. But the player must improve his work rate, and that is something Emery would demand more than anything else.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have completed a bizarre swoop for Kevin-Prince Boateng to increase the attacking depth behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. This would further jeopardise Malcom’s future at Camp Nou, and the youngster must grab the opportunity if a transfer does take place by Thursday.
If Barcelona are to sell, then the Catalans are likely to demand at least £50m (our opinion) to have profit on the £36.5m that they invested back in July for their Brazilian prospect. An impressive run at Arsenal would make the job of finding a suitor ready to match their asking fee easier. The Gunners are expected to splash the cash next summer and should prepare an ambitious offer for Malcom if he suits their style during his time at the Emirates.