Ex-Arsenal forward believes Gunners are still in title race

Arsenal are interested in signing Santos striker Marcos Leonardo during the ongoing transfer window, according to Sky Sports reporter Tim Vickery...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

The Gunners are aiming to bolster their centre-forward department in January and they have been heavily linked with a move for Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

However, the Englishman could prove expensive to buy with a price tag of £80 million and Vickery has now revealed that Arsenal are looking to sign Leonardo.

He added that the 20-year-old is a player who is better known for operating in a restricted space in the box and his skill set could fit into the plans of the Gunners.

He said: “One I’m being told Arsenal are looking at is Santos striker Marcos Leonardo. He had a very good Under-20 World Cup a few months back. Santos have just been relegated. What’s interesting about him is that they’d have been relegated much sooner had it not been for his goals.”

“He’s been scoring goals in a losing cause. He is another one who is very raw and he is a penalty-area operator. Not a target-man operator but a bit like Romario. He’s very good in restricted space and doesn’t offer you a great deal outside the penalty area.

“His link-up play still leaves a lot to be desired, but it could be interesting for Arsenal because his skill set could fit in with the other forwards they have. There will be competition for him from others. Benfica are getting very interested as well.”

Leonardo won’t guide Arsenal to title success

The Gunners went into Christmas top of the table, but they had a poor end to the year with unexpected defeats against London rivals West Ham United and Fulham.

They were guilty of missing as many as five big chances versus the Hammers. The club had a stunning 77 touches in the box without finding the net – the first time that has happened in the league.

At Fulham away, they were never in the game after the early goal. Bukayo Saka could have scored in the second half but barring this, the players looked short in form and confidence in the final third.

Those two results have put the club five points adrift of leaders Liverpool and they need a huge turnaround in the second half of the campaign to end their long wait for the league title.

With this in mind, we don’t believe Leonardo would be a good piece of signing. The youngster netted 21 goals for Santos last term but it was a disappointing season where they were relegated.

Leonardo is now keen on proving himself in European football, but his inexperience does not go well with us. He may need time to adapt to the Premier League which Arsenal can’t afford to give.

In our view, Arsenal should splash the cash to purchase Toney from the Bees. He is a tried-and-tested striker in the league and netted an impressive 20 goals in the previous top-flight campaign.

He has been working hard behind the scenes in training despite his betting ban until January 17. He will want to prove himself on his return and should be motivated to spur Arsenal to the title.

With funds being limited for the transfer window, there is a possibility that Eddie Nketiah could be sold, possibly to Crystal Palace, to accommodate the signing of Toney in the coming weeks.

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