Premier League • England

Exclusive: Arsenal enthralled with lethal Ligue 1 duo, as Arteta moves to replace forward who never got a chance

Lille striker Jonathan David

Arsenal are considering bringing in a new centre-forward this summer and two clinical frontmen are catching their eye from within the French top flight, TEAMtalk understands.

It’s been a superb campaign for the Gunners who have taken giant strides forward under Mikel Arteta. Ultimately, Arsenal may be left with no silverware to show for their efforts, though hopes are high their exploits this season are the new norm, not an outlier.

To ensure they remain capable of challenging Man City on a regular basis, we’ve been told five different positions could all be addressed in the transfer market this summer.

A new right-back, centre-half, central midfielder and winger are on their list – but a new centre forward is also on their agenda.

Gabriel Jesus missed a big chunk of the season through knee surgery and was capably backed up by Eddie Nketiah.

However, with a first return to the Champions League since 2017 on the horizon and Folarin Balogun likely to be sold, Mikel Arteta feels more firepower is needed.

Arsenal are confirmed admirers of Dusan Vlahovic and his future is up in the air at Juventus. If the Italian giant give the greenlight to a sale, Vlahovic is an option they will look at, just as they did back in the winter window of 2022.

However, TEAMtalk understands Arsenal are looking closely at Ligue 1 for potential options too.

Jonathan David, Lois Openda exciting Arsenal

Lille striker Jonathan David – strongly linked with Napoli as a potential replacement for Man Utd-linked Victor Osimhen – is someone who Arsenal scouts are enamoured with.

The 23-year-old Canadian is third in the Ligue 1 top-scorers chart this season with 21 goals.

Another is Lens’ Belgian frontman, Lois Openda (also aged 23), who has scored 19 times in the French top flight this term.

However, one option they are unlikely to turn to – and someone who is also playing in Ligue 1 – is their own Folarin Balogun.

The homegrown frontman, 21, has been on a tear at Reims during his loan spell, bagging 18 league goals in the process.

However, his demand of first-team football when returning to Arsenal is unlikely to be granted and we’ve been told he will be allowed to leave this summer.

Any money generated in a Balogun sale will be put directly towards a replacement at the tip of Arteta’s attack.

If Balogun does leave on a permanent basis this summer, he’ll do so having made just 10 senior appearances in total for the Gunners.

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