It might be a stretch to say that Arsenal is in a crisis, but its chances of winning the Premier League for the first time in twenty years are dwindling following the events of New Year’s Day.
After losing to Fulham on Sunday, the Gunners dropped their next game, as their carelessness in front of goal finally caught up with them.
A few days before, they had failed to score against West Ham, and at Craven Cottage, their sole meaningful opportunity came early on when Bukayo Saka bundled home a simple close-range chance.
For a team that was so colourful, thrilling, and lethal in the last third of the season, it’s a concerning theme. So, how do you approach solving a problem? Of course, the transfer window.
The strikers Arsenal may recruit in January: Adding a fresh striker to the team is always a thrilling idea. This man is made to propel you to everlasting glory. Erling Haaland at Manchester City comes to mind. But as we are all aware, that’s not often how life works out.
Ivan Toney and Dominic Solanke are among the players Arsenal has on their winter transfer want list, but it’s never simple to bring in a player from the Premier League at a high cost, much less in the middle of the season.
Consequently, they could focus on Victor Boniface and the Bundesliga. That’s what reports from Football 365 in Spain say.
According to the source, Boniface “has caught Arteta’s eye” and is currently showing himself to be “an interesting candidate” to support the Gunners in their championship defence.
The Nigerian is valued at an astounding £52 million by CIES Football Observatory; yet, no asking price is stated.
How Gabriel Jesus and Victor Boniface are comparable
Arsenal’s offensive this season has just not been very good. While Gabriel Jesus only has three Premier League goals in 2023–24, Eddie Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United, has not scored in the top level away from the Emirates Stadium this season.
It is imperative to find a more clinical striker if Mikel Arteta is serious about challenging for the title in the second half of the season.
They might find their solution in Boniface, a rising star in Europe this campaign.
Despite only joining Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, the 23-year-old has already shown to be an instant success for Xabi Alonso’s elite team in Germany. In fact, the prolific forward has 16 goals, seven more than Saka, Arsenal’s leading scorer at the moment.
That’s actually more goals than any of Arteta’s players scored in the previous term, when Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Gabriel Martinelli each finished with fifteen goals.
The attacker has a lot of exciting qualities and has been called a “physical monster” by Molde assistant coach Trond Strande, who faced Boniface frequently while he was playing in Norway.
In the air, Boniface poses a far greater threat to opponents. He wins aerial duels more frequently and is more likely to take the ball up the pitch and into the final third for his side. Not to add that the Nigerian international gets ninety minutes’ worth of shots, which increases the likelihood that he will score.
In terms of pass success percentage, Boniface would need to make up ground if he were to make a significant adjustment this winter, but overall, Jesus is very much the “complete forward” that scout Jacek Kulig claims he is.
This season has been exceptional for the youthful attacker and his group. They have not lost a single game this season, placing them four points ahead of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. A significant contributor to that has been Boniface, who is creating quite the storm with former Arsenal player Granit Xhaka.
The attacker, who respects the Swiss player highly, says of him: “Having a player like Granit and his experience is really good for us.” That’s evident in every game he participates in. He has a significant impact on the group.
Xhaka might have spoken some very wonderful things about the club, you can bet, if a move were to occur in the upcoming weeks. Jesus, beware; he may be pursuing your tender area.