Several of the Gunners’ stars are currently in Qatar competing for the world’s biggest prize but one player has been sent home early. On Friday night, striker Gabriel Jesus was struck with a tournament-ending blow as he picked up a knee problem in Brazil’s 1-0 defeat to Cameroon.
That would put a serious dent in Arsenal’s title hopes as they went into the international break sitting top of the Premier League standings. Mikel Arteta only has one other ‘out-and-out’ forward option in Eddie Nketiah and he’s yet to deliver on his new contract.
If the aforementioned claim is true, then the 25-year-old is likely to miss some crucial encounters, including games against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and his former club Manchester City.
As such, sporting director Edu Gaspar may want to rectify the issue by utilising the January transfer window and he could do so by swooping for a player that caught the eye just a few hours before Jesus agonisingly went down injured.
Earlier on Friday, Granit Xhaka and Switzerland went to battle with Serbia for a place in the knockout stages and whilst the Rossocrociati came out on top, it was a familiar name for the opposition that starred in the defeat.
Vlahovic isn’t the first choice for Serbia, at least when Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is available but both started together against the Swiss, with the former particularly impressive.
He bagged a deft goal – described by CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs as “clinical” – to put the Eagles in the lead ten minutes before the break but Xhaka’s men came on strong in the second half to seal a place in the last-16.
The 22-year-old could be an interesting solution with Jesus facing some time on the sidelines. Juventus are in turmoil off the pitch after the whole board resigned, with some suggestions that the club would have to sell several of their key stars.
It remains to be seen if the £70m man is one but with the Gunners in need, Edu could chance his arm with a move.
Despite a slow start to life in Turin, Vlahovic has found the net six times in ten league appearances this term, reverting back to the sort of form we witnessed at Fiorentina, where he scored a whopping 21 goals in 2020/21.
That free-scoring output once saw him lauded as a “monster“, whilst Serbian FA president made a rather bold claim suggesting he was better than Erling Haaland. He told Tuttosport (via GOAL): “Vlahovic is better and more complete than Haaland.”
After his arrival on the world stage – combined with his early season form – the Juve frontman may be back to his best and it would be wise for Arsenal to capitalise on the Italian outfit’s ongoing situation to aid their own woes.
Vlahovic could be what Arteta needs to soften the blow to Jesus this January.