Player support sees Arsenal move ahead of West Ham in striker race

Paul Onuachu Genk

Arsenal have overtaken West Ham in the race for a prolific striker thanks to one key reason, according to a report.

The Gunners are looking for Alexandre Lacazette’s long-term replacement up top. The Frenchman is out of contract in June and is expected to leave on a free transfer.

Talks over a new deal started in March but never really got going. It seems Lacazette is open to leaving north London in search of a new challenge.

A number of goalscorers have been earmarked as potential successors. Youssef En-Nesyri is one name that continues to be bandied about.

The 24-year-old notched 18 La Liga goals in 2020-21 as Sevilla finished fourth in the table. He also managed six strikes in eight Champions League games before their last-16 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

En-Nesyri’s form means he carries a weighty price tag. West Ham submitted a £27million bid for him in January but were knocked back. Sevilla have since demanded £45m for his signature.

A cheaper alternative for both Arsenal and West Ham is Genk’s Paul Onuachu. The ace managed an impressive 35 goals in 41 matches last term. He has carried that run into this season, scoring 12 times in 18 outings.

West Ham made Onuachu their number one target for January a few weeks back.

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But they could lose out as Arsenal prepare to move for the Nigerian. Sport Witness, citing reports in the Italian press, suggest that Arsenal have made an approach for the star.

They have been tracking him for some time and are now willing to launch a raid. Premier League rivals Aston Villa are also monitoring the situation.

It’s claimed that Arsenal could win the race thanks to Onuachu’s transfer preference. Earlier this year, he revealed his love for the Gunners.

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“I really like Arsenal,” he said (via HITC). “[Emmanuel] Adebayor, one of the players I admired most, played there. I really was a fan of him, as well as Kanu. I really love watching Arsenal too.”

Onuachu’s agent followed those comments up by admitting it would be ‘nice’ if Arsenal signed him.

Arsenal outcast makes Emirates ‘plan’

Meanwhile, Arsenal centre-back William Saliba is plotting his return to the Emirates.

The youngster was signed from St Etienne two years ago but is yet to make his debut. He has been loaned out to the likes of Nice and Marseille.

The Telegraph provide an update on Saliba. They report that he is eager to make his mark on the Arsenal first team next season.

He has kept up relations with Gunners stars Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah while representing Marseille. It’s hoped that this will boost his standing in the squad.

Saliba is also keen to improve his English. He will embark on a course to improve his understanding and speaking of the language.

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