Jesus, Abraham, Neves: Edu’s dream Arsenal shortlist ahead of summer transfer window


Following the disappointment of the past week, the Gunners’ horizons will have shifted in terms of who they might be able to bring into the club this summer. The club’s season has ended in disappointing fashion with Tottenham pipping the Gunners to Champions League qualification.

It means the Gunners will be playing Europa League football next season, which could have a drastic impact on the types of players Mikel Arteta can tempt to the Emirates.

However, all is not lost as last summer, the club was able to conduct excellent business even without the appeal of Champions League football. This means that it could be yet another summer where the club will hope to unearth some hidden gems rather than shoot for star names.

READ MORE: What Mikel Arteta said to the Arsenal players at half time as Gunners make first summer moves

Here, we take a look at Arsenal’s dream transfer shortlist ahead of the summer:

Ruben Neves

The Wolves midfielder has enjoyed what has been perhaps his best season in a Wolves shirt, with Bruno Lage guiding the midlands club to a top half finish in the Premier League. The 25-year-old has been an ever present at the heart of the engine room, scoring four goals including a beauty against Watford.

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Arsenal are set to face competition for the former Porto midfielder’s signature this summer, with Manchester United and Barcelona said to be interested in the deep lying playmaker. The Portugal international has a similar profile to current Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka thanks to his skills playing the ball from deep as well as an eye for the spectacular.

The Gunners have been searching for a midfield lynchpin for many years and while he might not be the most physical option, he would certainly bring an ability to dictate play to the club. He also has leadership skills, having captained Porto at just 18-years-old in the Champions League, something which appears to be lacking in the Gunners’ ranks.

Gabriel Jesus

The Manchester City striker’s name emerged as a target a month ago following reports from The Athletic’s David Ornstein that Edu was considering the Brazilian as an option to replace the departing Alexandre Lacazette this summer. However, with recent developments, the striker could well be looking elsewhere for his next move with his Champions League quality.

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates after scoring four goals against Watford last month (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images,)

One factor that works in Arsenal’s favour is the imminent arrival of Erling Haaland in Manchester, leaving Jesus further down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order. The chance to be a big fish at a big club such as Arsenal could well appeal given the striker’s struggles to establish himself at City.

However, a record of 13 goals in 40 games in all competitions will be a concern to the Arsenal hierarchy and there are more prolific targets out there, albeit with less star power than the Brazilian international.

Tammy Abraham

One option with a more impressive scoring record than Jesus is Roma’s Tammy Abraham, who has drawn admiring glances from clubs across Europe for his contributions to Roma this season. The Englishman has become a reliable source of goals under the management of Jose Mourinho in the Italian capital, scoring 27 goals in all competitions this season.

Tammy Abraham has impressed for AS Roma this season (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

He scored the winner earlier this month as the Romans edged past Leicester in the Europa League to give the club a chance of winning their first trophy since 2008. He has made himself at home in Rome, but could well desire a return to the city of his birth, London, this summer.

An expected asking price in excess of €80 million (£68 million) could be a stumbling block, but given the England international’s potential and proven Premier League scoring record, it may well be a price the Gunners are willing to pay.

Aaron Hickey

Perhaps the lowest profile name on this list, the Scottish full-back is a hugely exciting prospect nonetheless. The 19-year-old has been ever present for Serie A side Bologna this season, scoring five goals from full-back which is a remarkable return for such a young player.

Aaron Hickey of Bologna FC celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Bologna FC (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

His arrival would mean that Kieran Tierney would have extra support following his injury troubles this season. Both Nuno Tavares and Cedric have filled in with varying success in the Scot’s absence and his compatriot could well be a more viable long-term option given his success abroad this season.

The former Hearts man can also operate in the centre of midfield, giving the Gunners and manager Mikel Arteta a real long-term option. He has, however, distanced himself from a move, Read more – Football.London

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