Monday, June 27, 2022

Update On Arsenal’s Pursuit Of This Benfica Star: Can Gunners Win The 3-way race?

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Chandra Moulee Das
Statistician turned sports analyst and your next-door Arsenal fan.

If a report from Portuguese outlet Record is to be believed, Premier League side Arsenal are willing to raise the stakes in the race to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez. The Gunners have already increased communication with the Uruguayan in a bid to bring him to North London, especially with other clubs circling in to secure his signature.

How can Nunez fit into the Arsenal squad?

Mikel Arteta’s top priority at the end of the season would be to bolster his strike force, given Aubameyang’s move away to Camp Nou last December and Lacazette’s contract set to run out in the summer.

Nunez’s quality and skillset make him the perfect replacement and will add firepower to Arsenal‘s squad next season. The promising attacker is buoyed with impeccable stats and consistent displays; chipping in with 26 goals in 33 games for Benfica in all competitions this season.

Should Arsenal fail to sell Xhaka in the summer, he would likely continue his role as a No 8, with Thomas Partey playing as the defensive midfielder and Martin Odegaard featuring as a creative midfielder in No10.

The Uruguayan sensation ticks all the right boxes in terms of what the Arsenal boss looks for in his strikers and can deliver to add more goals. The Gunners would be wise to negotiate a move to procure his services when the transfer window reopens later this year.

Benfica’s Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez celebrates after opening the scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Ajax and Benfica at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, in Amsterdam, on March 15, 2022. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Can Gunners win the 3-way race?

Newcastle and West Ham are the other two top contenders in the race to sign Nunez. The Magpies, however, reportedly were prepared to pay £50million for the forward. Now, with the interest in Nunez only increasing, the asking price is estimated to be in the region of £67m. Both clubs were initially interested in the speedster in January but were put off by his asking price.

Speaking on a recent edition of The Here We Go Podcast, renowned football journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed West Ham are eyeing another bid for the Benfica sensation this summer. However, the Gunners enjoy an advantage over the Hammers with the prospect to offer Nunez Champions League football.

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