In their search for a top striker to compete with Olivier Giroud, Arsenal have not hesitated in looking beyond the contours of the Champion League and other top European clubs.
According to Tom Sheen of ‘The Sun’, several Premier League clubs including Arsenal have their eyes set on Gabriel Barbosa, who is now being tipped to be the new Neymar.
The Sun further reports that the teenage sensation is expected to take the Copa America by ‘storm’, having scored on his debut in an international friendly against Panama.
Having scored 50 goals as a professional footballer, Gabriel or ‘Gabigol’ as he is also known is tipped to be the next Neymar, given the stark similarities shared between the two.
Not only is the 19-year-old a Santos player, which happens to be Neymar’s childhood club, his playing style is indicative of strengths similar to those of Brazil’s captain.
Neither are exceptionally strong or well built, but like Neymar Gabriel’s movement both off and on the ball has caught the attention of more than just a few European clubs, including a host of top premier league sides including Manchester United and Arsenal.
Whether the Brazilian youngster is able to deliver for his country and catch even more attention is yet to be seen, considering the level of competition in his national side, and importantly the fact that he is only 19.
It is an age where a player’s physical and mental strengths, based on several expert opinions( including those of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger), are still embryonic and underdeveloped, regardless of how technically gifted a player maybe.
Additionally, as is known far and wide, whether a player of his calibre can deliver in a league as competitive as the premier league is at the moment uncertain.
If Arsenal were to move for Gabriel Barbosa, they would have to be certain that Barbosa can deliver at the highest level for Arsenal, considering that the last Brazilian attacker they bought, Wellington Silva, remains a long-standing reserve player; unlikely to feature for the first team next season.
What remains clear without a doubt is the raw talent this young Brazilian possesses, and Arsenal will be watching him closely this summer, including the Copa America.
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