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Arsenal Actively Pursuing €30m Rated Dutch Winger as Raphinha Alternative

Cody Gakpo, Arsenal, Manchester United

According to latest reports, Arsenal have now turned their attention towards PSV Eindhoven attacker Cody Gakpo. The North London club were interested in signing Raphinha from Leeds United but Spanish giants FC Barcelona beat both Arsenal and Chelsea to it. Therefore, they have identified the Dutch winger as the correct alternative.

Cody Gakpo was one of the most prolific players in the Eredivisie last season. He scored 21 goals and assisted 15 more in 47 appearances across all competitions for PSV Eindhoven (stats via transfermarkt). The forward has a contract with the Dutch club till 2026 which makes it a little difficult to negotiate a deal. Nevertheless, the player looks ready to take the next big step in his career while the Gunners look for a showman.

Cody Gakpo, PSV Eindhoven, Arsenal
Image obtained via 90min

According to Football.London, Arsenal are interested in bringing Cody Gakpo to the Emirates stadium. The 23-year-old forward enjoyed the best season of his life in the recently concluded 2021/22 campaign.

Besides the Gunners, Manchester United, Barcelona and Liverpool are also interested in signing the Dutchman. However, the possibility of him ending up at Barcelona is now slim and the North London side are currently touted as the frontrunners to sign the Dutch forward.

Arsenal have already signed five players in this window which has made their rivals a bit jealous. On the other hand, the club also have a number of players leaving in the upcoming weeks. The departing players are Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin and Nicolas Pepe. However, the Gunners will be focused on the exit of Pepe as they will receive the maximum amount of funds from his sale.

The record signing Nicolas Pepe has failed to get going at the Emirates and looks set to leave London very soon. Arsenal’s next signing depends on the funds they receive from player sales. All the other departures are mostly free transfers but Pepe’s exit could see the Gunners receive some useful funds. However, the 27-year-old forward is yet to receive a decent offer that the club can accept.

Why Arsenal Have Shifted Their Focus On Cody Gakpo?

Cody Gakpo is an extremely versatile player who can play in any position in the final third. He has performed well consistently in all the roles and that could be useful for the Gunners when they are involved in a long season. Despite being just 23 years of age, he possesses the qualities of a seasoned player. His presence will improve the attacking department at Arsenal which still majorly has young forwards in their squad, mostly under the age of 23.

Gakpo has all the basic attributes a forward should possess and he is pretty good at each of them. The Dutch forward is very good at passing and creating chances because of his vision. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta can expect Cody Gakpo to produce all the variations – be it switching the play, short passes, or even key passes that help in unlocking the opposition defence.

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Not only that but the 23-year-old is also a very lethal long-shot taker. The goalkeepers will have to be on their feet constantly whenever the forward has the ball in their half. This ability to take long shots also complements his ability to take set pieces. With Gakpo, Mikel Arteta will have another option besides Martin Odegaard to create chances and stand over the dead-ball situations.

The Dutchman is a very fine dribbler who likes to take on defenders and skip past them thanks to his quick feet. He also likes to cut inside, allowing the full-backs to overlap and create chances from the wing. His style of play easily suits the profile that Arteta wants in his team. With Gakpo on one side and Bukayo Saka on the other, the Gunners will have the pace to trouble any defence in the league on the counter.

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