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Transfer Rumor: Is Arsenal lining up a move for the ex-Man City attacker?

The Spaniard could be a nice fit while Gabriel Jesus is out injured.

Morocco v Spain: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

With Gabriel Jesus out for two to three months following surgery on his right knee, Arsenal is in the market for a new forward this January. Eddie Nketiah has three goals from seven matches and the role of leading Arsenal in a title challenge is a bit beyond him at the moment. Folarin Balogun is an option, but he would benefit from remaining on loan at Reims. He is consistently starting in Ligue 1 and already has eight goals and two assists from 15 games. So the club has to bring in a new attacker this January, where will there turn?

German outlet BILD is reporting that Arsenal is among several top teams across Europe interested in signing Barcelona’s Ferran Torres. Let’s analyze the Spaniard and if it would be a good move for the Gunners.

Player: Ferran Torres, 22

Current Club: Barcelona. Torres joined the Valencia academy when he was just six years old eventually moving up to their U-19 team in 2016 and the Valencia B side a year later. Six months into that season he has earned a spot with the first team in La Liga regularly coming on as a sub. 2018/19 saw him begin to pick up more minutes and goals, but the ‘19/20 season was where he really stepped forward, becoming a starter not only in the league but in the UEFA Champions League as well. Six goals and eight assists would see him sold to Manchester City over the summer for $35 million.

In his first season in England, he scored 13 goals and had three assists helping Man City win the Premier League and the League Cup. The following year, Torres suffered a metatarsal fracture that would leave him out for about three months, eventually leading to his $59 million transfer to Barcelona in the January window. While at Barcelona he has 11 goals and seven assists over his 12 months in Spain.

International: Spain. Following his move to Manchester City, he made his debut for the Spanish National Team. During the past 2+ years, Torres has 35 caps and 15 goals for Spain. At the 2022 World Cup, he played in all four of Spain’s matches, scoring twice in the 7-0 win over Costa Rica.

Position(s): For both club and country Torres can play as a center forward or on either side of the attacking line as a winger. At the World Cup, he played as a right winger, while at Barcelona he has spent time in all three roles this season. During his title-winning year at Man City, he played at least 10 times in all three roles.

Potential Price: Estimated around $37 million by Transfermarkt. That was the price tag heading into the World Cup, although his involvement there is unlikely to dramatically change a January price. Now that Barcelona has Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, Torres has fallen off their primary XI and the club still has sizeable debt to pay down.

Arsenal Positional Depth (Forward):

  • Gabriel Jesus, 25, June 2027 (injured)
  • Eddie Nketiah, 23, June 2027

Arsenal Positional Depth (Wingers):

  • Bukayo Saka, 21, June 2024
  • Gabriel Martinelli, 21, June 2024
  • Emile Smith Rowe, 22, June 2026
  • Reiss Nelson, 23, June 2023
  • Marquinhos, 19, June 2027

Arsenal Need: High. Following Jesus’ injury, the Gunners have to find a solution up top for the next few months. Even if Nketiah hits another level of form, they can’t rely on just him and expect to remain top of the Premier League. Torres, as well as Martinelli, could play as the #9 in Arteta’s system. Looking beyond the forward role, Arsenal wants at least two players capable of starting in the league and the Champions League next season. Torres’ experience and flexibility offer another option for the right to rest Saka as needed.

Final Verdict: His age fits the profile Arsenal has been targeting lately. As does his experience and flexibility. If the club can sign him in January for $35-40 million not only does it help solve their immediate problem, but it continues the process of building out a Champions League quality depth of the Gunners can secure that prize. A club that may be looking to sell, another club in need of a new attacker, and a player ready for more minutes. Like the Evan Ndicka move, this transfer checks a lot of boxes.