When Arsenal take to the pitch to kick-off their campaign next season, we can expect to see a fair number of new faces in the Gunners’ line-up. Arsene Wenger has already landed Granit Xhaka, and the noises coming out of the Emirates suggest more signings are to come, with Santos star Gabriel Barbosa on the shortlist.
Wenger has made no secret of his desire to bring in a proven goalscorer before next season commences, and has already seen Jamie Vardy reject a move to the capital.
Brazilian Barbosa has shone in his homeland, coming through the Santos side and filling the role vacated by Neymar’s departure to Barcelona in 2013.
Since that move, the 19-year-old has hit 21 goals in all competitions in both 2014 and 2015, and is already into double figures in South America this year too.
His rise has seen him recognised internationally too, and Barbosa has already scored twice from four appearances for his country.
It’s believed however that the teenager feels the time is right for a move, with a switch to a European club preferable, despite interest from China.
The Sun are reporting that Arsenal would need to activate a £40m release clause, but given his tender age and the scale of his potential, the Gunners may see that price as more than acceptable.
In addition to his excellent strike record, Barbosa displays a love for beating a defender which has driven many to compare him to Santos predecessor Neymar.
What’s more, the teenager boasts a fine eye for an assist, plus a physicality lacking from the Neymar’s game, one which can cope with the Premier League’s demands.
Barbosa may not be the finished article yet – at 19 nobody would expect him to be – but this wonderfully attacking and exciting player could be just the man to lead Arsenal into the future.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.