Football Audit takes a closer look at what they will be getting from Darwin Nunez if a deal can be agreed with Benfica during the upcoming summer transfer window
A busy summer awaits Arsenal. After parting ways with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, and Alexandre Lacazette – as well as Eddie Nketiah – out of contract in June, it’s clear the club’s main priority has to be to sign a new striker when the transfer window reopens.
In fact, as previously reported by football.london, the Gunners will target two centre-forwards this summer. This has prompted links to the likes of Jonathan David, Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Patrik Schick. Meanwhile, a deal for AS Roma’s Tammy Abraham would certainly make one or two club legends very happy.
But whilst some fans are dreaming of a deal for Erling Haaland, reports this week have claimed that Benfica’s Darwin Nunez has emerged as a new target for Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu in their quest to bolster Arsenal’s attacking options ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Furthermore, the north London outfit have reportedly already taken the first steps towards completing a deal for Nunez as Record claim the club are on the ‘charm offensive’ to convince the Uruguay international that joining Arsenal is the best move for his career.
Now, Nunez has also been linked with a move to West Ham United and Newcastle United, but considering the aforementioned report states the Gunners are ‘a few steps above’ their Premier League rivals, what type of player could they be getting if an €80million (£66million) deal materialises this summer?
Well, as per WhoScored, Nunez’s four main strengths based on the last two seasons are key passes, dribbling, finishing and long range shooting. Meanwhile, his playing style is described as someone who likes to cut inside, likes to dribble and does not dive into tackles.
All of which describes the perfect No.9 for the Gunners following Arteta’s comments from earlier in the month when asked about what he wants from his main striker: “He puts the ball in the net, that’s priority number one,” he said. “Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing. You can play good football but you need enough goal threat in the team.
“The other thing is that he has to complement the other people we have, personally and on the pitch, and for that, we need the right profile. We need a profile where you can exploit his qualities at the same time as the qualities we already have, so we don’t have to transform our way of playing again to adapt to that specific player. He has to have a certain age, a certain level of experience, and he has to be able to come here and play under the pressure of being at Arsenal.”
But there are some weaknesses that Nunez needs to work on if he is to fulfill his potential – which is understandable at only 22 years of age and plenty of time to develop. Holding on to the ball, passing and offside awareness are listed as the three biggest weak points in his game right now.