Premier League • England

Five low budget options Arsenal could target to replace Gabriel Jesus in the January transfer window

Barcelona forward Memphis Depay during the Champions League match against Dinamo Kiev at the Camp Nou.

After Gabriel Jesus suffered a knee injury at the World Cup, Arsenal could be targeting a new forward in the January transfer window. 

Jesus joined the Gunners from Manchester City in the summer and has made a huge impact, registering five goals and six assists in 14 Premier League appearances.

But the Brazil international now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and Arsenal may need a replacement if they are going to maintain their title challenge.

We’ve taken a look at five forwards that Arsenal could sign in January for a relatively low fee.

Memphis Depay

After registering 76 goals and 55 assists in 178 appearances for Lyon, Depay moved to Barcelona in 2021 and enjoyed a promising debut season in Spain.

But he fell down the pecking order following the arrivals of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha in the summer transfer window and injury problems have also limited him to just three appearances this season.

The striker returned to full fitness during the 2022 World Cup and scored in the Netherlands’ 3-1 victory over the USA in the last-16.

He’ll now be looking for more first-team opportunities at club level and Arsenal will be able to provide that. A move to the Emirates would also give him another chance to perform in the Premier League following his difficult spell at Manchester United.

Depay would undoubtedly suit Mikel Arteta’s squad as he’s renowned for his versatility and mobile approach, which bears similarity to Jesus’ style of play.

The January transfer window also represents Barcelona’s last chance to make some money on the 28-year-old as his contract expires at the end of the season.

According to reports in Spain, Arsenal technical director Edu is readying a ‘low offer’ that they hope will be accepted and it’s been claimed previously that Barcelona will let him leave for as little as £7m.

Medhi Taremi

Since joining Porto from Rio Ave in the summer of 2020, Taremi has established himself as one of the leading attackers in Europe.

He has registered 62 goals and 43 assists in 115 appearances for Sergio Conceicao’s side, including a stunning overhead kick against Chelsea which won the 2020/21 Champions League goal of the season award.

The striker also showcased his talent at the 2022 World Cup, scoring both of Iran’s goals during their 6-2 defeat against England before setting up Ramin Rezaeian’s strike in their 2-0 win over Wales.

According to Portuguese outlet O Jogo, Arsenal have now registered their interest in Taremi. A Bola adds that it’s his dream to play in the Premier League and he’s is in “no hurry” to sign a contract extension.

While Porto are reluctant to lose him, he has just 18 months left on his current contract and a mid-season transfer would be considered if the 30-year-old refuses to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal.

He reportedly has a release clause of £52m but Arsenal should be able to negotiate a much better deal due to his age and contract situation.

Admittedly, Taremi wouldn’t represent a long-term solution for Arsenal and he does not possess the same mobility as Jesus in the final third, but he would offer something different for the Gunners with his strong aerial presence and ruthless finishing.

Moussa Dembele

After a disappointing loan spell at Atletico Madrid in the second half of 2020/21, Dembele returned to Lyon and rediscovered his best form.

He registered 21 goals and four assists in 30 Ligue 1 appearances in 2021/22 and only Kylian Mbappe and Wissam Ben Yedder scored more than him.

But the France international has been acting as back-up for Alexandre Lacazette this season after contract extension negotiations broke down.

Dembele will be available on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign and Lyon are now likely to accept a cut-price deal in January in an attempt to recoup some money.

Turkish side Galatasaray have reportedly tabled an initial bid of around £4.3m and that transfer fee would make the striker a relatively risk-free signing for Arsenal.

Christian Pulisic

While Arsenal will probably be looking for a striker in January to fill the void left by Jesus’ injury, they could still consider other options.

Graeme Bailey recently told TEAMtalk that the Gunners believe they can cover for Jesus’ injury with the players they already have at their disposal as the likes of Gabriel Martinelli can play through the middle.

Arsenal would then need another winger and the Daily Mail claim that Arteta’s side are keen on securing Pulisic’s services when the transfer window reopens.

The 24-year-old has endured a difficult time at Chelsea but gave a timely reminder of his abilities during the World Cup by registering a goal and two assists for the USA.

“You could see with Pulisic like he was playing with revenge,” former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit said. “He was so good for the USA and he deserves to play regularly at another club. I think he’s the exact kind of player that Arsenal need.

“Now that Gabriel Jesus is out I think he’d be a great option. Just like Hakim Ziyech, you can see his head is not with Chelsea right now and seeing them both miserable – they don’t deserve it. Both players have played so well.”

Chelsea would reportedly demand a fee in the region of £35m if they are going to sell the winger, but he is entering the final 18 months of his contract and the Blues might accept a lower offer.

Wilfried Zaha, Christian Pulisic, Crystal Palace v Chelsea, July 2020

Wilfried Zaha

A long-term Arsenal target, Zaha was heavily linked with the Gunners in 2019 but a deal failed to materialise and they signed Nicolas Pepe instead.

The 30-year-old is still at Crystal Palace and has been in excellent form this season, registering six goals and two assists in 13 Premier League appearances.

But his current deal at Selhurst Park is set to expire at the end of the season and Palace may have to cash in on the forward in January after he reportedly rejected their latest contract offer.

According to TEAMtalk transfer insider Graeme Bailey, he has been the subject of ‘real interest’ from both Arsenal and Chelsea in the past 12 months.

While the Ivory Coast international predominantly plays on the left wing, he can also play through the middle and Patrick Vieira reportedly believes that a central role suits him better.

READ MORE: Five Arsenal transfer targets that could boost their Premier League title challenge: Mudryk, Tielemans…