An RB Leipzig wonderkid, Europe's most productive forward and TWO Premier League stars... Mail Sport RATES the 10-man shortlist of strikers that Arsenal chief Edu 'is eyeing for the Gunners this summer'


Arsenal’s electrifying scoring output in 2024 has reportedly not deterred sporting director Edu from compiling an extensive list of striking targets for this summer. 

Among them are familiar names to Premier League fans. Ivan Toney, Alexander Isak and Victor Osimhen have been linked with the north London club in recent transfer windows. 

While Sporting Lisbon star Viktor Gyokeres and RB Leipzig pair Benjamin Sesko and Lois Openda have made headlines with starring performances this term. 

Here, Mail Sport takes a look at the 10-man list drawn up by the Brazilian and assess their suitability for Mikel Arteta’s ever improving side. 

Arsenal's sporting director Edu has reportedly stitched together a 10-man striker shortlist

Arsenal’s sporting director Edu has reportedly stitched together a 10-man striker shortlist

Gabriel Jesus has come under fire for an inability to be clinical in front of goal but his injury record is of more concern to the Gunners

Gabriel Jesus has come under fire for an inability to be clinical in front of goal but his injury record is of more concern to the Gunners

Ivan Toney 

Brentford’s star man is probably the name at the top of most Arsenal fans’ wish list, and for good reason. In his second Premier League campaign last term, the 28-year-old scored 20 goals – a tally only bettered by Erling Haaland and Harry Kane. 

Toney’s form would likely have seen him depart the Bees last summer, if not for an eight-month ban for breaching rules. 

Now back in action, he has scored four times in 10 appearances and his recent performance for England – where he scored his maiden goal at international level – further highlighted his superb all round game. 

Arteta has shown a willingness to adapt his style but if he was to continue with a system that primarily favours advanced inside forwards, his central striker needs to be able to contribute in the build-up. 

That’s Toney. With just one year remaining on his deal at the Gtech Stadium he might also be one of the cheaper options on this list. 

Verdict: A short-term, win-now option. Go and get him. 8/10.

Ivan Toney scored his first goal for England in the 2-2 draw with Belgium at Wembley on Tuesday

Ivan Toney scored his first goal for England in the 2-2 draw with Belgium at Wembley on Tuesday

Alexander Isak

Arsenal were linked with the Newcastle striker back in his younger days at Real Sociedad, when comparisons to Thierry Henry were abundant but the money to sign him was not forthcoming. 

Several years on, Isak is not as in-demand but that has more to do with the injuries problems that have blighted him since his £60million move in 2022. When fit, the Sweden international has produced some jaw-dropping moments for the Magpies.

Still only 24, he matches the age profile of the Gunners squad and despite Newcastle ambitions of joining the likes of Arsenal at the Premier League top table, Eddie Howe’s side will likely be forced to sell a major talent to avoid financial sanctions. 

This offers Arsenal the chance to make do on a glaring oversight of an otherwise impressive recent recruitment record. Isak looks a perfect fit for Arteta’s team. 

His passing, creativity, dribbling prowess and, of course, his ability to the ball in the back of the net, would make his arrival at the Emirates a frightening prospect for the rest of the league and Europe. 

Verdict: The best choice on the list. Has the talent in spades and fits the age profile of the squad. 9/10.

Alexander Isak has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, including strikes against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City

Alexander Isak has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, including strikes against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City

Viktor Gyokeres

Sporting Lisbon are desperate to keep hold of Gyokeres, who they signed for a club-record £20m in the summer.

He has fired them to the top of the Portuguese league, has 36 goals in 39 games in all competitions, and is regarded so highly that they reportedly turned down a £73m bid from Chelsea for him in January.

The 25-year-old has also registered 14 assists, highlighting his eye for the final pass. Additionally, the Swede is in the 99th percentile among strikers in Europe for shot-creating actions, progressive carries, successful take-ons and touches in the opposition box. 

The only sincere objection that can be made to his ridiculous record is the level of competition. Gyokeres is playing outside a top-five league and, while free-scoring in Europe, his five goals in nine games have come in its second-tier competition. 

Gyokeres could quote rightly point to how he has improved in every season of his career but ultimately, if the Portuguese side demand the kind of sums they turned down from Chelsea, it’s hard to see Arsenal pursuing him above others in this list. 

Verdict: Hard to see him being worth it at the price Sporting will likely demand. 6/10.

Viktor Gyokeres has 50 goal contributions in all competitions this season for Sporting Lisbon

Viktor Gyokeres has 50 goal contributions in all competitions this season for Sporting Lisbon

Victor Osimhen 

The Napoli striker’s stock has unquestionably fallen in the last 12 months, after a breakout 2022-23 season in which he became the first African footballer to win the Capocannoniere and helped fire the Neapolitans to a first league title in 33 years. 

Factors on and off the field have played a part in the 25-year-old’s drop off and make his £112m release clause less palatable. 

But Osimhen’s 2022-23 outings showcased how devastating he can be when steadfastly serviced by the team. Whether that would happen at the Emirates is the biggest question, at present, he may be the worst fit. 

He does not possess the passing and link up abilities of any of the strikers above. However, his strengths are unrivalled by any forward operating in European football today. 

Signing him would be a risk and would necessitate a major shift in Arteta’s attacking gameplan but there is plenty of room for the Nigerian to grow under the stewardship of the Arsenal boss. 

Verdict: A huge gamble, probably not worth taking. £112m is a lot of money. 5/10.

Victor Osimhen has not managed to replicate his stunning 2022-23 campaign for a Napoli team that have struggled in their title defence

Victor Osimhen has not managed to replicate his stunning 2022-23 campaign for a Napoli team that have struggled in their title defence

Lois Openda 

The goalscoring exploits of anyone not named Harry Kane in the Bundesliga have understandably been overlooked this season. Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy boasts an impressive record of 22 goals in 20 games, while Openda has enjoyed a similarly fruitful campaign with Leipzig. 

The fact that the Belgian has achieved three consecutive 20-plus scoring seasons, each year with a different club in a different league, with each move a step up from the last, should not be downplayed. 

Having just turned 24, there is confidence he will be able to continue this trajectory and three goals in two games in the Champions League against Manchester City add further justification to this theory. 

Openda has exclusively been deployed as a central striker by Marco Rose this term, alongside another player who features on Arsenal’s shortlist. On a basic level, he fits the mold of a current Arsenal player, you can see him buzzing around the final third and getting involved in the team’s intricate passing schemes. 

The last point of note is his durability. Arsenal probably already have the perfect striker for their current system in Gabriel Jesus but he has been sidelined for significant periods in both his seasons at the Emirates. Openda, meanwhile, is yet to miss a league game through injury in his six seasons as a professional.

Verdict: Ticks a lot of boxes. Another good option to pursue. 7/10.

RB Leipzig striker Lois Openda has scored more than 20 goals in all competitions in each of the last three seasons

RB Leipzig striker Lois Openda has scored more than 20 goals in all competitions in each of the last three seasons

Benjamin Sesko

The Slovenian’s output is less impressive than his Leipzig strike partner. Openda has managed 19 in the league, while Sesko is yet to reach double figures with seven. 

That alone should not condemn the 20-year-old, who has for a few years now been touted as a future world star. Standing at nearly 6ft 5ins, Sesko’s physical stature would add another dimension to the Gunners attack. 

And his quality on the ball and ease in tight spaces could see him fit seamlessly into the frontline. But he is, putting it bluntly, a target man. And that role does not exist in Arteta’s system. 

Pep Guardiola’s use of Erling Haaland shows that possession-based teams can still flourish with a forward that is not as involved in play. But Sesko is not Haaland and Arteta is Guardiola. 

There have been reports that the youngster’s release clause could be as low as £42m this summer. If that is the case, his acquisition makes perfect sense but only in recognition of the player he could become. On current ability, he is not as attractive of a proposition as some of the other options available to the club. 

Verdict: One for the future, unless he’s going to cost just £42m, in which case he’s one for a back-up role now. 6/10.

Standing at nearly 6ft 5ins tall, Benjamin Sesko would add another dimension to arsenal's attack

Standing at nearly 6ft 5ins tall, Benjamin Sesko would add another dimension to arsenal’s attack

Evanilson 

The Brazilian will be familiar to Gunners fans who saw him start both legs of their recent Champions League last-16 tie. 

Though, solid, those displays do not paint the fullest picture of what he brings to Sergio Conceicao’s side when facing inferior opposition in the Portuguese top-flight. 

What’s striking about Evanilson is how well rounded his game is. Deployed as a centre forward, the 24-year-old compares favorably to strikers in metrics ranging from goals and assists to progressive passes, tackles and blocks. 

This season he has outperformed is xG in both the league and the Champions League, notching 22 goals from 34 appearances in all competitions. But arguably most impressive of all, a feeling that will no doubt be shared by Arteta and his coaching staff, are his qualities out of possession. 

A tenacious, willing runner, quite similar to Jesus in a lot of ways, Evanilson may not be the most eye-catching signing but the Gunners could do a lot worse than to add him to their roster this summer. 

Verdict: Looks a really good squad player, might even turn out to be more. 6/10. 

Evanilson (left) started both Champions League last-16 games for Porto against Arsenal

Evanilson (left) started both Champions League last-16 games for Porto against Arsenal

Brian Brobbey

The Ajax striker is another whose play style indicates he’d be a good fit at the Emirates. Brobbey has 28 goal contributions in 38 games this season, with eight being assists. 

He ticks a lot of the right boxes for this Arsenal team. Brobbey gets involved with play, is strong, has an eye for goal and looks to be ever improving. 

But having just turned 21, the step up to a Premier League title-chasing team looks a chasm and recent attacking arrivals from the Eredivisie have not shone as brightly as those from other domestic leagues. 

Brobbey’s record of just two goals in 10 Europa and Conference league games this season – both of which came in a 4-3 defeat to Marseille – indicate that it may be a better option for him to stay with the Dutch giants for another season or join a side just outside the European elite. 

Verdict: Too soon, still too unproven. 4/10. 

Ajax academy graduate Brian Brobbey has 23 goal contributions in 25 Eredivisie games this season

Ajax academy graduate Brian Brobbey has 23 goal contributions in 25 Eredivisie games this season 

Santiago Gimenez (right) is chasing the Eredivisie top scorer award, being only two goals behind Vangelis Pavlidis' tally of 23

Santiago Gimenez (right) is chasing the Eredivisie top scorer award, being only two goals behind Vangelis Pavlidis’ tally of 23 

Santiago Gimenez

Only Luuk de Jong and Vangelis Pavlidis have bettered Santiago Gimenez’s 21 league goals this season. His case is in many ways similar to Brobbey’s; a young, well-rounded Eredivisie striker enjoying a free-scoring campaign. 

For now at least, Gimenez’s Champions League performances separate him from the Ajax man, that and the four additional goals he’s scored in three fewer games. 

However, of concern are his poor passing metrics for the second-best side in the division. The Mexico international is in the 13th percentile for passes attempted, the 40th percentile for progressive passes and the 48th percentile for pass completion, at just 68 per cent. 

Yes, those numbers are an illustration of Feyenoord’s style, not merely his capability. But they are nonetheless stark when compared to his peers, even the likes of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez better him in some of those categories.

The 22-year-old is a player to watch but, like with Brobbey, a move to the Emirates in this summer feels too soon. 

Verdict: Difficult to see him flourishing in Arsenal’s system. May need another move before joining a top-six Premier League side. 5/10. 

Victor Boniface

The Nigeria striker was the talk of the Bundesliga before an adductor injury in January cruelly ruled him out of the Africa Cup of Nations and has left him on the sidelines for three months. 

Victor Boniface reached the impressive tally of 18 goal contributions in 16 Bundesliga games before suffering an adductor injury that has sidelined him for three months

Victor Boniface reached the impressive tally of 18 goal contributions in 16 Bundesliga games before suffering an adductor injury that has sidelined him for three months 

Before that, a fair amount of the praise given to Bayer Leverkusen was directed towards the 6ft 3ins forward. Boniface’s suitability for Xabi Alonso’s system – one of the most intricate and possession-based in European football – should give Edu faith he’ll manage well in north London. 

Like a few others on this list, he has made a habit of performing for whichever team he plays for. Boniface has scored goals and provided assists at an impressive rate for Bodo/Glimt, Union SG and Leverkusen in the last three seasons. 

This term he reached 16 goals and nine assists in 23 games before that injury – which he should shortly return from. 

If Arsenal want a striker similar to Toney but five years younger and likely, just as expensive, Boniface is their man. 

Verdict: A really exciting option who could add a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack. 8/10.



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