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Arsenal Move Into Pole Position to Sign €40m Rated LaLiga Striker After Barcelona Gets Snubbed

Alexander Isak

According to reports, Arsenal have moved into pole position to sign Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak. La Liga giants Barcelona were also interested in the player but talks have broken down between the two clubs.

Mikel Arteta is in dire need of a new striker. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are in the last six months of their contracts and are expected to leave the Emirates at the end of this season, while the recent tension with Aubameyang might see him leave as well. Therefore, Arsenal are in the market for a striker and are looking at some prolific attacking options to sign in the January transfer window.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have taken the lead in securing a move for Alexander Isak. The Gunners had their eyes on the Swedish forward for a long time. Meanwhile, Barcelona were reported to also have a keen interest in the player and were looking to bring him to Camp Nou in January.

Alexander Isak
(Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

However, the Catalans have hit a roadblock in the deal as Real Sociedad are unwilling to sell the player to an immediate rival who are also looking to finish in the top four of LaLiga this season. This has provided a major boost to the transfer plans of the North London club.

Despite having signed Ferran Torres from Manchester City, Xavi is looking to make more additions in the attack to stabilise their current disastrous league campaign as well as in Europe. El Nacional reported that the Basque club caught Barcelona by surprise after quoting the full €90m release clause for the Swede when approached by the Catalans, being well aware of their financial constraints.

Real Sociedad do not want to grant their direct rivals an advantage in the fight for a Champions League spot. They currently sit 4th in the LaLiga table, two points above the Catalans but have played a game extra and have lost four out of the last five matches in the league.

Alexander Isak enjoyed a brilliant 2020-21 season with Sociedad, netting 17 times in 34 league games and played a crucial part for Sweden at the Euros as his national team made it through the group stages but lost to Ukraine in the Round of 16. Although the 22-year-old hasn’t been as effective for his club as the previous season, he has been brilliant in the World Cup qualifiers for Sweden, scoring 4 goals in 8 matches.

Isak uses his slick movement and pace to stretch the opposition’s defence, which was very well seen against Spain in the WC Qualifiers. Isak and Kulusevski outpaced the slow Spanish backline, leading to a surprising 2-1 win for the Swedes.

Moreover, the young striker can also produce fancy footwork to beat defenders and run behind them. His hold-up and link-up play are also great. He can drop deep to stall the play and link with the midfield to hit the opposition on quick counters.

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Another advantage of signing him would be the re-linking of the player with his previous midfield partner Martin Odegaard. They played together during the 2019/20 season when the Norwegian was on loan from Madrid. Therefore, the Swedish forward wouldn’t take much time to settle and will be able to rekindle his partnership at the Emirates.

Although Fiorentina’s Vlahovic has been the favourite option for the Gunners, his asking price is quite high, thus making the Swede a more viable option for Arsenal. The only concerning figure for Alexander Isak is his average pressures per 90, which stands at 10.23. Whether he can develop into a more aggressive striker would be the prime question for Edu and Arteta before considering a move.

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