Arsenal transfer priority clear between Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha as talks continue

Arsenal have been ramping up their interest in Leeds’ Raphinha after making a bid for the 25-year-old this week, however should they instead be looking to prioritse their pursuit of Man City’s Gabriel Jesus

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Arsenal officials have continued to make moves to bolster Mike Arteta’s attacking options ahead of the new season by submitting a bid for Leeds attacker Raphinha.

The Gunners have already brought in attackers Marquinhos from Sao Paulo and Fabio Vieira from Porto, and it now seems the club are pushing to make Raphinha their third arrival of the summer.

News of the offer broke late on Tuesday night, however Leeds rejected the same as it’s lower than their valuation of the 25-year-old. Negotiations are likely to continue between the two clubs and it’ll be intriguing to see what this move means in the context of Arsenal ’s pursuit of Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with the Brazilian and it’s said they’re edging closer to reaching an agreement with the champions. However, a deal for both players is unlikely. This could mean they may face a transfer dilemma, and if only one can be purchased, who’d be better suited?

A big advantage Jesus holds over his compatriot is the fact he is on paper a centre-forward, and Arsenal are desperate for another No.9 at the club. Raphinha isn’t a centre-forward and never has been. Nor does he seem to have a profile that could suit such a role.

He instead is at best when picking the ball up in wide positions and driving at defenders, dribbling and taking risks in order to force valuable goalscoring opportunities. Given the options Arsenal already have in terms of wide attackers, there’s a fear among some fans that Raphinha’s arrival could hinder the development of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

Arsenal are among a number of sides interested in Leeds winger Raphinha


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Jesus has also often featured in a wide position, especially in more recent months where he impressed on the right of Pep Guardiola’s attack. However, the bulk of his minutes in England have come as a centre-forward.

Predomenlty playing that role, the 25-year-old has scored 58 Premier League goals since joining City in 2017. That’s a return that’ll certainly impress Arsenal officials. Although the same did come from an Expected Goal (xG) total of 76.05, suggesting he’s perhaps not the most ruthless of goalscorers.

Intriguingly, during his two seasons in the Premier League, Raphinha has found the back of the net on 17 occasions, which is a solid return considering almost all of his minutes came on the right of an unremarkable Leeds United attack. And impressively his xG for that time was 16.45.

This would suggest the Leeds man is actually more accurate in front of goal, and he’s also got a much higher ceiling in terms of attacking threat from the flanks. However, for what Arsenal need right now, which is a player who can competently play as a centre-forward, it’s Jesus rather than Raphinha who should probably be earmarked as their priority target this summer.

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