Arsenal’s ‘acceleration’ of Cody Gakpo transfer from PSV Eindhoven makes sense following Mikel Arteta’s lack of substitution options on the wing this season.
Arsenal were unable to sign a winger in the summer transfer window, despite the clear need to strengthen in the wide areas. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have a lot of pressure to perform until the next opportunity to address this area of the pitch opens in January, but there is a risk of burnout.
The lack of depth in this area has been clear in the last week, as Eddie Nketiah has been forced to play on the wing in back-to-back matches, despite naturally being a forward. Mikel Arteta hasn’t utilised a different wing option other than the two starters since Emile Smith Rowe’s injury in September.
One player who the club were reportedly looking to sign in the summer transfer window was Cody Gakpo. But, a deal never materialised, meaning the winger stayed with PSV Eindhoven following the transfer markets closing, but fresh reports about a January move highlights why his arrival is a necessity.
Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that Arsenal could accelerate their plans to sign the Dutch winger and has not ruled out a January move. This comes after an excellent start to the season for the youngster in the Eredivisie.
Gakpo currently has 13 goals and 13 assists in all competitions so far this campaign. No other player in Europe’s top five leagues has a better goal involvement record.
Arsenal’s current starting wingers have been excellent this season, but for the youngsters to keep this level of performance and intensity, there will be times during the season when they will need rest. With a lack of depth in quality in the wide areas, this has not been the case for Saka or Martinelli, with Arteta forced to play both in the Europa League group stage this season due to a lack of options, which could lead to burnout.
Smith-Rowe’s injury means only one natural winger aside from Martinelli and Saka has played in the Premier League for Arsenal and that was Marquinhos. But, the Brazilian has only seen one minute of action in the league after his 90th-minute substitution for Saka against Brentford in September.
Gakpo could be the solution to this as Arsenal were one of several Premier League clubs interested in PSV winger Gakpo, Sportupdatehub understands. Further reports have gone on to say that he could be signed for around £35million.
He played 42 games on the left-hand side for PSV last season and played another three games as a centre-forward. However, he has shown a clinical nature from whatever position he is playing in, as he scored 19 goals from the left wing and two goals in three games as a striker.
Despite the doubts concerning the winger’s ability to adapt to the Premier League due to the increased physicality required, the Dutchman has already ticked some of Arteta’s boxes when it comes to being important in the dressing room, which has been proven by the fact that Gakpo is vice-captain at PSV. It highlights that he would certainly adapt to the culture at Arsenal.
Gakpo has proven that he would be a useful signing for the Gunners. Arteta’s reluctance to use the depth in wide areas this season highlights the Dutchman’s arrival in January is certainly a necessity.