Premier League • England

Arsenal draw up four-man striker shortlist as Champions League woes expose key weakness

Arsenal have drawn up a four-man striker shortlist for the summer

Arsenal have drawn up a four-man striker shortlist for the summer

Arsenal have reportedly decided they need to sign a prolific striker after they lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday. 

Mikel Arteta’s side were defeated 3-2 across two legs with a goal from Joshua Kimmich at the Allianz Stadium ultimately proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Gunners lacked a focal point in attack in the game and according to The Sunthe club’s hierarchy ‘recognise’ that they need to sign a top centre-forward to get to the next level.

Arsenal have been linked with numerous strikers over the past few weeks, but the report claims that their sporting director Edu has now decided on his four top targets.

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Viktor Gyokeres

The name at the top of Edu’s shortlist is reportedly Sporting CP goal machine Viktor Gyokeres, who has been sensational since his move from Coventry City last summer.

The Swedish international has scored 36 goals in 44 appearances for the Portuguese giants and his fantastic form has caught the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Along with Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are also interested in signing Gyokeres this summer, but he certainly won’t be a cheap signing.

The forward has a €100m (£86m) release clause that Sporting will demand in full, so it will be interesting to see if Arsenal are willing to match that fee.

If Gyokeres can continue his current form in the Premier League, he could be the perfect player to turn Mikel Arteta’s side into serial trophy winners.

Alexander Isak

Another of Europe’s most in-form strikers at the moment, Newcastle star Alexander Isak is another who is greatly admired by the Arsenal hierarchy, per various outlets.

The Magpies reportedly need to sell several players this summer due to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules and Isak is one of those who could leave for a big fee.

Isak is currently the Premier League’s joint-fourth top scorer with 17 goals so far – only one less than Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah have managed between them.

Eddie Howe would much prefer to keep hold of the 24-year-old talisman but if Arsenal match his reported £100m price tag, it could force Newcastle’s hand.

Benjamin Sesko

RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko, 20, is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in Europe and a move to the Premier League looks to be on the cards for him,

As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Manchester United and Newcastle are extremely interested in the youngster and now Arsenal can be added to his list of suitors.

Sesko signed for Leipzig for €24m (£20.5m) last summer and has come on leaps and bounds since his move to the Bundesliga. He’s scored 13 goals across all competitions this season and is only expected to improve as he gains experience.

Arsenal could sign Sesko this summer if they match the €50m (£42.8m) release clause in his contract, which makes him a cheaper option than the other players on their striker shortlist.

READ MOREBenjamin Sesko: The Man Utd, Newcastle and Arsenal target who is the perfect blend of Haaland and Ibrahimovic

Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa’s progression under Unai Emery has been nothing short of sensational and they are deservedly on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 1982.

Arguably the most important player for the Villains this season has been Ollie Watkins, who has netted an incredible 19 Premier League goals, making him the division’s third-top scorer.

Aston Villa, understandably, will do everything they can to keep hold of the England international but a number of clubs are reportedly considering making bids for him in the summer.

Wakins is reportedly valued at £80m by the Midlands side so Arsenal will have to cough up a hefty sum to bring him in.

The 28-year-old is undoubtedly one of the finest strikers in England at the moment, however, so could make a huge difference to Arteta’s team if they can get a deal done.

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