Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Arsenal Failed To Recruit This Serie A Striker Last Summer: Should Arteta Go Back In For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Calciomercato has revealed that Arsenal failed to recruit Andrea Petagna from Napoli last summer. It is understood that both Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso and owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis opposed the idea of cashing in on the Italian marksman in August, much to the disappointment of the Gunners manager Mikel Arteta, who was ‘looking for a centre forward with his characteristics’ (via Calciomercato).

Petagna’s Productive Season At Stadio Paolo Mazza Recently

The 25-year-old has made a slow start to this campaign after finding the back of the net just once in four appearances for the Naples outfit so far. However, Petagna enjoyed a decent run of form while on loan at S.P.A.L. last season when he caught the eye with his overall contributions in attack despite his team’s relegation to the Serie B earlier this year.

The Trieste-born forward banged in 12 goals and provided one assist in 37 matches for the Italian minnows in the last term on all fronts. The one-time Italy international gave a good account of himself by averaging 3.1 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2019-20 Serie A campaign. However, he was sometimes untidy when distributing the ball after making 75.6% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

If Petagna can maintain his high standards during the campaign, then his value could rise considerably in the European transfer market, which would make it difficult for the Gunners to land him in the future.

Arsenal failed to recruit Andrea Petagna last summer (Petagna is seen in the picture)
Andrea Petagna of SSC Napoli stands disappointed during the UEFA Europa League Group F stage match between SSC Napoli and AZ Alkmaar at Stadio San Paolo on October 22, 2020 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

What Does The Italian Goal-Getter Bring To The Table?

Standing at 1.90m, Petagna can be an intimidating presence up top and has got incredible upper body strength to hold the ball up and get others involved in the final third. He is also blessed with excellent ball-control and packs a lot of power with his shot attempts.

The Italian striker has proven his worth as a prolific goal-scorer in the Serie A over the past 12 months, but there are still some question marks over whether he has what it takes to succeed in European football.

Should The Gunners Go Back In For Him In January?

The Gunners have currently got Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli in their striking department, but none of them are physical enough to dominate the aerial battle with the opposition.

At the moment, Petagna is one of the most robust strikers in Italian football. Still, Arsenal should only consider going back in for him if he is available for a fair price in January. Otherwise, Mikel Arteta would be better off concentrating on some of his other targets as Petagna might struggle to adapt to the high intensity of football in England which makes him a risky option for the Gunners to contemplate on this winter.

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