Arsenal are in the hunt for talent this summer, and they’ve turned to Brazil for it
The Gunners are gunning to make a big splash during the summer transfer window, and while there are names from across England, Scotland and Europe linked with a move to north London, the club have also been linked with several Brazilians. This, to be sure, is certainly no shock.
With the connections that Technical Director Edu Gaspar has with his native nation’s football federation, it appears as though he and Mikel Arteta are plotting a course that, one way or another, will see more players from that nation wearing an Arsenal shirt. This is certainly a positive innovation, in that the players linked are all very talented – albeit different – players, playing across England, Italy and Brazil. The club are attempting to take advantage of their connections, and the great talent that each player possesses unquestionably makes this a good strategy.
Yet who will end up coming to Arsenal? We’ve seen the likes of Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison and Arthur Melo all linked with a move to north London, while Marquinhos, the 19-year-old winger from Sao Paulo, has already sealed his move to the Emirates. Although, he will likely find himself on loan for a season or two.
That is the subject at hand of course, and for the team that narrowly missed out on fourth place in the Premier League table last season, signing the right players this summer will be of the utmost importance for continuing the momentum and progress into 2022/23.
For Arsenal, some players will be easier to lure than others
In all honesty, I think that all four of the aforementioned Brazilian players still playing elsewhere have a reasonable chance to find themselves with their compatriots – Edu, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Gabriel Martinelli – but I see Richarlison as the least likely. Now, while I think he would be a fantastic fit at Arsenal, his love for Everton is real, and I know that he feels a real bond and obligation towards that team, its history, and the supporters.
He would bring that same intensity and passion to Arsenal, and he would press and press and run and fight as hard as any player out on the pitch – as he does already for both club and country. Might he come? Sure. Yet I look at Jesus, Raphinha and Arthur Melo as easier sells to leave their current teams.
Melo has no love for Juventus or Max Allegri. Jesus knows Mikel Arteta and is aware that he will struggle to see the pitch as a number nine with Erling Halaand’s arrival to the blue side of Manchester. Raphinha, on the other hand, is, I think, more like Richarlison at this point in his career. He would like to win, of course, but he, too, takes the obligation to his club quite seriously. While he would thrive in north London, and he might well end up there in the middle of the pitch or out wide, it’s unlikely that he would make his desire to leave Elland Road public.
With Arthur Melo, it’s more a matter of if Arsenal would like him or not. A deal could’ve been pushed through last January but it stalled, much to the chagrin of both Arthur and Juventus. The Brazilian midfielder, on his best days, can play as a midfielder in a more forward and recessed position. But as we saw with the Bianconeri last season, his quality was often not what it has to be to play on elite squads. Would he offer depth and versatility? Yes, but the team will likely only bring him in should the price be a bargain for a player who has lost a lot of quality since his Barcelona days.
Ultimately, I think Jesus to Arsenal will happen, and I think Raphinha is a smart choice too if he can be afforded. Getting those deals done while selling Nicolas Pepe, losing certain players’ wages, and moving on from some names once and for all can hopefully afford Arsenal the aforementioned two plus a couple more additions – Brazilian or not.
Building a good and positive team requires bringing in and cultivating good and positive players. This much can be seen in how Mikel Arteta has managed to move personalities out of the club that became or existed as sheer distractions. The group that Arsenal has now is really positive and full of potential, and it must be filled out with stars who will accentuate those talents and personalities, Who the Gunners take from Brazil and the rest of the world will determine just how far this team can go in the coming seasons.