Arsenal have moved ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United in the chase for Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma, as Mikel Arteta plans to replace Gabriel Martinelli.
Under Mikel Arteta’s leadership, Gabriel Martinelli has become one of the Premier League’s most exciting young talents, with the Brazilian forward’s pace, dynamism and trickery proving a nightmare for opposing defenders in recent years. He has bagged six goals and three assists in 25 games thus far this season, which includes a brace in Arsenal’s recent 5-0 rout of Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
However, Martinelli has been well off the pace this season, especially after a career-best haul of 15 goals last term which was enough to make him the Gunners’ second-highest goalscorer. Before his brace against Crystal Palace, the winger had looked anonymous in many games and barely offered anything in the final third.
It is now understood that Mikel Arteta is looking to reinforce his options on the left flank and could snub Martinelli, with the Spanish tactician reportedly pushing the Arsenal board to get him Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma.
The Gunners are said to have moved into pole position to sign Kaoru Mitoma, overtaking the Manchester clubs in the transfer race.
Arsenal ‘charmed’ by Kaoru Mitoma’s performances at Brighton
Arsenal have been ‘charmed’ by Kaoru Mitoma’s eye-catching performances since he became a mainstay in Brighton’s first XI in November 2022. The Japan international, currently at the Asian Cup duty, is rated among the Premier League’s finest wingers and has consistently performed for the Seagulls. The 26-year-old thrives on the wing regardless of the opposition he faces, thereby, grabbing Mikel Arteta’s eyeballs.
Although the Gunners have quality attacking talents in their ranks, including Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard, Arteta is actively looking to strengthen his wide options and views Mitoma as a valuable long-term acquisition. Mitoma will likely be the next player to depart the Amex Stadium in favour of a “Big Six” club, following in the footsteps of Ben White, Yves Bissouma, Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.
Nevertheless, the Seagulls will only sell their best players when the price and timing are as per their demands. This rules out a January move for the Japanese winger as Roberto de Zerbi’s men are participating in three competitions. Also, due to Arsenal’s financial problems, they will have to wait until the summer transfer window to agree with Brighton for Mitoma.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.