Arsenal looked set to make a major addition to their front-line in the form of Leeds United winger Raphinha, coming agonizingly close to acquiring him. But then severe competition rolled in and destroyed their hopes.
As it stands, it looks like rivals Chelsea will be signing Raphinha, having agreed a £55m fee (as per The Athletic) with Leeds for his services.
The Gunners have already improved their attack with the imminent arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City. But Mikel Arteta believes that won’t be enough to properly challenge for trophies or a Premier League Top-4 finish next season. That’s why he wants a quality winger who can set up and score more goals.
With the Raphinha deal seemingly dead in the water, he’ll now have to assess some alternative options. The good thing for Arsenal is there are quite a few options out there for them to look into. So we’ll look at three alternatives to Raphinha the Gunners can explore .
Arnaut Danjuma to Arsenal?
One of the breakthrough stars of the 2021/22 Champions League campaign, Arnaut Danjuma proved his quality by helping Villarreal reach the semifinals. In 34 appearances, he scored 16 goals and provided 4 assists. Out of those, 6 goals were scored in the Champions League.
Danjuma is a skillful, physical winger who loves to outmuscle and outwit his opposition with ease. The 25-year-old’s strengths include finishing, dribbling, crosses and creating chances (via WhoScored).
He is a major counter-attacking threat because of his pace and ability to go past players, while the Dutchman also loves cutting inside from the left to cause chaos. An impactful winger like Danjuma can help add another layer of variety to Arsenal’s attack and greatly improve their movement from the left-wing.
He could cost around €36m (as per Relevo), which is what Arsenal were ready to splash for Raphinha. Danjuma comes with vital experience and a tendency to make a difference in the big games and can greatly improve the Gunners’ goal output.
Cody Gakpo: Arsenal’s potential left-wing solution
A versatile, talented forward with a lot of potential for the future, Cody Gakpo turned a lot of heads with his excellent performances for PSV Eindhoven last season. The 23-year-old scored 21 goals and registered 15 assists in all competitions, out of which 12 goals and 13 assists came in the Eredivisie.
Gakpo can play in a variety of attacking roles, including both wings and even as a centre-forward if necessary. The Dutchman’s dribbling ability, finishing and crossing prowess are some of his biggest strengths (via WhoScored).
Gakpo can light a fire in Arsenal’s attack and act as a major goal-creating figure on the left wing. The Dutch club would be willing to sell the winger for around €40m (as per Voetbal International) and he can be an ideal fit for Arteta’s system of creating swift, effective attacking moves from the wings.
Moussa Diaby: Rapid player to electrify the attack
If Arsenal are looking for a more natural left-footed winger to bolster their squad, they could go searching in the Bundesliga. The Gunners could eye Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby as an alternate option to Raphinha after seeing how much he has impressed in recent years.
Diaby recorded 17 goals and 14 assists in 42 appearances last season for Bayer, absolutely lighting up their attacking potential. The 22-year-old’s special trait is he is equally comfortable playing on either wing.
He is rapid with his forward runs, loves dribbling past opponents using his pace and diminutive status and is also an unpredictable threat in possession.
Diaby can prove a new dynamic for Arsenal by swinging in crosses using his dangerous left foot, helping create big chances for Jesus and company.
While it could cost the Gunners more than £50m (as per Bild) to sign him, Diaby has a very high ceiling in terms of potential and can help create a prolific attacking line for Arsenal alongside Bukayo Saka and Jesus for the next 5+ years.