English Premier League (EPL) club Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is eyeing Santos Football Club’s forward Gabriel Barbosa as the club looks to add another striker beside Frenchman Olivier Giroud. Wenger has shifted his focus to Barbosa after failing to capture Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
Leicester striker Vardy decided to renew his contract with the Premier League champions and dump the offer by Arsenal. Barbosa interest has thus taken steam and Wenger wants to add the Brazilian before the club starts its pre-season training, according to ESPN Brazil.
However, a recent statement from Gabriel could prove to be a hindrance in his capture. The 19-year-old recently revealed that despite having plenty of offers from Europe, he is happy at Santos and it’s his home. The decision of his future will be taken by his parents and employers.
Gabriel has been nicknamed Gabriol by his teammates and the forward has made some impressive performances in Brazil. Italian Serie A club Fiorentina have already made a transfer bid worth $33 million, but nothing further is known about that bid yet.
Arsenal has lacked a pure striker upfront who could take them to Premier League gory. Giroud and Theo Walcott are good strikers, but they do not possess the world-class talent which is required for the Gunners to clinch the domestic title. This is where there will be doubts regarding Wenger’s chase of Gabriel Barbosa.
Gabriel is not a traditional striker. He likes to operate wide and his style includes cutting-in from the wings to provide a different dimension to his team’s attacks.
However, Wenger believes that he can change the Brazilian to an out-and-out striker at the Emirates Stadium. Gabriel will also add more depth in the striking department at Arsenal.
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