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Arsenal Transfer Rumor: Gianluca Scamacca

How many of you knew who Gianluca Scamacca was before last week?

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SS Lazio v US Sassuolo - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Arsenal are interested in a transfer for Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, per multiple outlets. Some reports even have the Serie A side rejecting an opening £34M bid from the Gunners. Per Sassuolo’s CEO, who I’d wager is a pretty accurate source, there have not been any concrete bids for the striker as yet. The 6’5, 23-year old attacker scored 16 goals in 38 games this season in Italy.

I have my doubts about a young, Italian striker moving to the Premier League because that’s just not something that often happens — Italians overwhelmingly tend to stay in Italy for their club football. But there seems to be some fire to go along with all the smoke. The Athletic has reported that he is on the list of potential targets for the Gunners hierarchy. Fabrizio Romano reported that he expects Scamacca to leave Sassuolo this summer.

Scamacca’s numbers are impressive. That 16 goals in 38 matches number is deceptive, too. Based on minutes played, he had a better goals per-90 return than either Gabriel Jesus or Tammy Abraham. He also compares favorably with the other Arsenal-linked striker targets in terms of pressures, and he’s a good tackler.

His height is a difference-maker and something Arsenal sorely lack in their attack. The Gunners were in the bottom half of the league for headed-goals, with Gabriel Magalhaes, notably not an attacker, leading the way with three. No Arsenal attacker scored more than one (Martin Ødegaard and Eddie Nketiah). At 6’5, Scamacca provides a significant aerial threat, a target for longer balls / goal kicks, and chips in with defensive headers, too.

Gabriel Jesus is Arsenal’s primary attacking target this summer. That’s pretty well-established at this point. There was a time when the reports were that the Gunners would look to buy Jesus plus another attacker this summer. With Eddie Nketiah looking likely to sign a new contract, that seems less likely given the money (we think) Arsenal have to spend. It’s a shame, really. Adding some height and physicality to the attacking options would have been a significant upgrade.

There’s always a chance that the reporting about Arsenal’s summer plans has been off the mark, the club changes course, or an opportunity comes along that Mikel Arteta feels is too good to pass up. The transfer window is notoriously fickle. Things change quickly and come out of seemingly nowhere. But my gut feeling is that Gabriel Jesus is the only starter-level attacker Arsenal sign this summer.