Osimhen, Boniface on four-man Arsenal striker shortlist – Report

Arsenal have reportedly shortlisted four-man of striking options for the summer transfer window, with Super Eagles duo Victor Osimhen and Victor Boniface among them but Brentford’s Ivan Toney is not listed.

During a dismal spell of winter form, in which they won just one of seven games from December 9 to January 7 with just five goals to boast, Arsenal were crying out for a new striker to arrive midway through the season.

However, with the threat of Financial Fair Play sanctions hovering over their heads, Arsenal – who spent over £200m on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber in the summer transfer window – did not answer their supporters’ calls.

Mikel Arteta and Edu’s decision to stick with the options at their disposal has been vindicated, as the Gunners have run riot since returning from a mid-season Dubai training camp, winning each of their first six Premier League games in 2024.

The Gunners have struck a staggering 25 top-flight goals in that time – including 15 in their last three matches with Newcastle United, Burnley and West Ham United – but their shortcomings did come to the fore in a 1-0 loss to Porto in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League contest.

Leading number nine Gabriel Jesus has struggled with knee injuries during his time at the Emirates Stadium, while Eddie Nketiah is still playing second fiddle to the Brazilian and is not a long-term solution up front.

Having also allowed Folarin Balogun to depart for Monaco over the summer, Arsenal are expected to prioritise the capture of a new marksman this summer, and four names are under consideration.

The first of those is Napoli goal-scoring sensation and 2022-23 Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen, who netted 26 times en route to Scudetto glory last season but is confirmed to be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The Gunners are said to be behind Chelsea in the race to sign the Nigeria international, though, while Paris Saint-Germain are also in the running and are better placed to pay Osimhen’s mammoth £113m release clause.

Alternative targets apparently include Sporting Lisbon’s Viktor Gyokeres, who has been a revelation in Portugal since leaving Coventry City, registering 31 goals and 11 assists in 34 matches in all tournaments.

The Sweden international sits second in the Primeira Liga scoring charts with 17 strikes, only behind Simon Banza’a 18 for Braga, while he also boasts five goals in the current Europa League campaign.

One of just four players to score more Europa League goals than Gyokeres this season – Brighton & Hove Albion’s Joao Pedro – is also being scouted by Emirates chiefs, as is Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface.

The latter could end the 2023-24 season with a Bundesliga winners’ medal round his neck and opened the season with 16 goals and eight assists from 23 outings, although he has been out since December with a groin injury.

However, talk of Brentford striker Toney moving to the Emirates has cooled, as the Gunners are supposedly looking for a different profile of striker and are also targeting players younger than the 27-year-old.

Arteta’s men head to Bramall Lane for Monday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United, where they could become the first team in English football history to score at least five goals in three successive away league matches.


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