Arsenal signing this 118-goal star for £8.5m would be nothing but daylight robbery by Arteta

Why Arsenal signing Mertens would be an outstanding January steal

According to Italian publication Calciomercato (h/t The Sun), Arsenal are eyeing a move for Napoli ace Dries Mertens.

The Belgian forward is in the final year of his contract at Napoli and looks set to leave in the summer, especially following his recent altercations with the club, the report added.  

Napoli forward Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)
Napoli forward Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Arsenal will face stiff competition from German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who are also interested in the 32-year-old. It seems the veteran attacker would be available for a fee as little as £8.5million in January due to his short contract, the report claims.

The Gunners, on the other hand, believe that if they do manage to secure a deal for the striker, then he could become Spaniard Mikel Arteta’s first signing at the club.

Former Arsenal captain Arteta was confirmed as the Gunners’ new manager after a string of poor performances under Unai Emery saw the club being pushed to 11th place in the Premier League table.

New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. (Getty Images)

With the club managing just 24 goals from the 18 league games they have played so far, it is quite evident that they need some reinforcements in their attack.

That said, Arsenal’s interest in the experienced campaigner Mertens does not come as a surprise. Meanwhile, the Belgian has been in great form for the Serie A side this season, scoring 9 goals from 22 appearances across all competitions.

Currently their second-highest goalscorer in history, Mertens has been an important player for Napoli ever since he made the switch from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2013.  

Dries Mertens has been a prolific goalscorer for Napoli over the last few seasons. (Getty Images)
Dries Mertens has been a prolific goalscorer for Napoli over the last few seasons. (Getty Images)

A consistent performer, Mertens has established himself as a regular in the Italian side, playing over 300 matches for them and scoring a whopping 118 goals in the process. His 71 assists from all competitions during this time further enhances his reputation as a potent attacker.

Arsenal’s attack, meanwhile, has looked far from impressive this season, with the club clearly lacking clinical finishers up front, except for star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon international, who has scored 11 of their overall league goals this season, has been the only silver lining in an otherwise blunt and timid Arsenal attacking line-up.

Arsenal skipper and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal skipper and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Getty Images)

New signing Nicolas Pepe has found it difficult to settle into the new life at the Emirates, managing just 2 league goals so far.

Besides Aubameyang and Pepe, Arsenal have two more attackers in their ranks – Alexandre Lacazette and the young Gabriel Martinelli. It has been a difficult season for Lacazette considering his own standards, having hit the target just 5 times in the league – a figure too low for someone who scored as many as 13 league goals last season.

Martinelli, meanwhile, has had a breakthrough season, netting 8 goals from all competitions but is yet to impress in the league, with just 1 goal to his name until now.

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Dries Mertens in action for Belgium. (Getty Images)
Dries Mertens in action for Belgium. (Getty Images)

With Arsenal’s attack clearly lacking the necessary depth to climb up the league table, a move for the experienced Mertens seems to be a wise decision.

Verdict

Mertens has been a consistent and prolific goal-scorer for Napoli, scoring more than 15 league goals in each of their last three league campaigns.

A proven customer with an exceptional track record, Mertens could be a great addition to an Arsenal attack which seems to lack confidence and looks completely out of sorts. Hence, Arsenal eyeing the veteran for a cheap January buy would be an outstanding steal.

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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