Arsenal have been reported to be considering a move for Real Betis winger Luiz Henrique this month and could now prioritise a swoop following Chelsea’s acquisition of Mykhaylo Mudryk, with who the Gunners had been strongly linked for weeks.
Having signed for the La Liga outfit from Fluminense in his homeland for just £7.1m in 2021, the Brazilian has emerged as a hot prospect in Europe and dazzled despite his inexperience.
The 22-year-old has scored three goals and delivered five assists across 22 games this season, starting 15, and is steadily emerging as a versatile frontline option, operating across the offensive third on either flank.
As per Sofascore, his performances in La Liga are a testament to his blossoming abilities, averaging 1.6 shots, 0.4 key passes and 2.1 tackles per match.
Should Arsenal technical director Edu forge a deal, it could be a marked upgrade on Reiss Nelson, who has failed to earn regular minutes for the Gunners this season.
Making only seven appearances so far in 2022/23, Nelson has find game-time hard to come by, although he did score two goals and register an assist in a brilliant display against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League when Arsenal won 5-0.
However, in clutch moments of pivotal fixtures, when Arteta needs his team to dig deep and grind out results, the €35m-valued (£31m) Henrique could also prove to be a sublime option to enter the fray from the bench, ranking within the top 1% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top five leagues for tackles, the top 5% for blocks and the top 20% for interceptions.
If Arsenal can land the “thrilling young winger” – as once lauded by Spanish football expert Graham Hunter – from Betis, he could quickly forge game-time with more regularity than the likes of Nelson.
Arteta has proven his ruthlessness before, jettisoning the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for moments of indiscipline, and he could be just as ruthless again by ditching Nelson if the Gunners bring in the seemingly superior Henrique.