Gabriel Barbosa, 25, was a big disappointment in his first European adventure with Inter Milan during the 2016-17 season, making just 10 appearances for the Nerazzurri and contributing a single goal.
He has, however, managed to revive his career in Brazil—first with Santos before joining Flamengo, where the Brazilian has won nine trophies, including back-to-back league titles and the 2019 Copa Libertadores.
According to 90min, Arsenal are in a five-way battle to secure the signature of Gabriel Barbosa. West Ham, Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle United are the other Premier League clubs interested in bringing the Flamengo ace to the Premier League during the winter transfer window, the report adds.
Fondly known by his nickname Gabigol, Gabriel has netted 83 goals in 121 games for Flamengo to date. The 25-year-old, who was a part of the Brazil squad that reached the Copa America 2020 final, has topped the 2021 Copa Libertadores goal-scoring charts with 11 strikes in 13 outings, thereby, attracting interest from English, German, Italian, Spanish and the Middle East clubs.
Gabriel Barbosa to Arsenal – A good option for Mikel Arteta?
Arsenal have struggled for goals this season, netting just 17 in 14 games so far. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t really been at his best for the last 15-18 months at the Emirates Stadium. He continues to struggle in front of goal this season, while the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contracts next summer.
It remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal hand new contracts to both Lacazette and Nketiah, with the duo free to negotiate with non-British clubs over a pre-contract agreement next season from January 1 onwards.
🔴⚫️🔥 Gabi Golazo for @Flamengo_en!
Gabriel Barbosa exchanged passes with De Arrascaeta before firing an excellent equalizer! pic.twitter.com/ExZ6OEJpaH
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) November 27, 2021
That being said, the addition of an in-form striker in the form of Gabriel Barbosa, in that regard, would be an ideal piece of business from the Gunners’ perspective in the upcoming window.
Gabriel, who can also play off the right or as a secondary striker, is a smart, pacey and agile player who is a ruthless finisher in front of goal. The 25-year-old has got the intelligence to create a yard of space to try and test the goalkeeper with a few shots from distance. The Brazilian international can set up clear-cut opportunities for his teammates inside the opponent’s penalty box with his link-up play and movement.
With Lacazette edging closer towards the end of his Arsenal career and Aubameyang not getting any younger, it makes sense for Mikel Arteta to spend big on a talented striker who would be able to take the responsibility of leading the club’s attack for the next five years, at least.
Thus, Gabriel would be a smart fit at the Emirates Stadium as he will bring plenty of goals and assists to Arsenal’s attack, whilst improving the overall depth of the squad.