Arsenal Transfer News: 'New Neymar' Gabriel Jesus Eyed, Latest on Isco Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2016

Gabriel Jesus (R) of Brazil's Palmeiras vies for the ball with Renato of Brazil's Santos, during their 2015 Brazil Cup second leg final football match held at Allianz Parque stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 02, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal are reportedly keen on signing young Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, a player favourably compared with Barcelona star Neymar. The Gunners have also been linked with Real Madrid's Isco, with the Spanish playmaker apparently available for a reduced fee this summer.

Anthony Chapman of the Sun (h/t Metro's Jamie Sanderson) states Arsenal have interest in the player still just 18. The Palmeiras attacker is also wanted by Serie A giants Juventus and AS Roma, as well as Portuguese side Benfica, per Chapman.

He also detailed how the Gunners have been on the case for a while: "The teenager was believed to be the subject of an enquiry from Arsenal in early December, with some reports claiming that Emirates chiefs were preparing to fly to Brazil in order to thrash out a deal."

While there's no doubt Arsenal's squad needs more talented forward options, manager Arsene Wenger may be better served looking for a more ready-made option.

With Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi already in the ranks, the Gunners aren't short on potential. What Wenger's forward line really needs is a proven and efficient finisher, one who will deliver in the big games.

That's not something Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott have done too often this season. Arsenal have found the net just 43 times in the Premier League, per the division's official site, the main reason Wenger sees his team languishing in third place.

Solving that problem requires more immediate help than gambling on the promise of youth.

Isco and Riyad Mahrez on the Radar

Wenger doesn't just need a new striker to end his side's struggle in front of goal. A little more creativity and pace from midfield would also help.

Despite struggling in the Spanish capital, Isco remains on the Premier League's radar.
Despite struggling in the Spanish capital, Isco remains on the Premier League's radar.Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

So it makes sense to read the Gunners are linked with Madrid schemer Isco. He could be available for a fee between £31-35 million this summer, according to Spanish publication Marca (h/t Metro's Max Miller).

Dave Fraser of the Sun has stated Isco "has long been on" Arsenal's radar. It's a statement that supports previous links.

Back in January, Spanish source El Confidencial (h/t Charles Perrin of the Daily Express) reported how the Gunners were "given encouragement" to make an offer.

While Arsenal don't lack creative players in the middle, not all of them have produced this season. The goals and assists have dried up for Aaron Ramsey, and Santi Cazorla's vision and assurance have been missed. Meanwhile, injury problems have denied Wenger the services of Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta.

Isco may have struggled to hold down a regular pace with Los Blancos, but at his best he boasts qualities Wenger will love. Notably, he has the flair and eye for goal every attacking midfielder needs to thrive, along with the versatility to play out wide or centrally.

Yet Wenger wouldn't need Isco to move to the flanks if he could also land Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian is a prime target for the Gunners, according to ESPN FC's Peter O'Rourke. He cites unnamed sources who have claimed "Arsenal are maintaining a watching brief" on the Foxes' creative wide man.

With 15 goals and 10 assists to his credit this season, per WhoScored.com, Mahrez is exactly the kind of prolific attacker Wenger needs. Just as important, his width and pace would offer the balance the Gunners' often disjointed forward line lacks, especially when so many players love to drift inside and hog the middle.

It's clear Wenger must make retooling Arsenal's attack his summer priority. But that process has to take the form of recruiting proven players. Isco and Mahrez both fit the bill and would be instantly at home in the Gunners' fluid style of play.


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