According to The Sun, Arsenal are eyeing a move for Brazilian sensation Gabriel Barbosa who is set to rip the Copa America apart this summer. The Gunners are desperate to add more fire power to their squad this summer after another disappointing season ending without the League title.
19-year-old Barbosa, nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ has been enjoying his early career in his native country Brazil playing for Neymar’s former club Santos.
Barbosa has had a sublime start to his career and all in all he has managed to find the net 50 times in 150 appearances in all competitions.
Comparisons have already been made, Barbosa is dubbed to be the next Neymar, coming from the same academy and more noticeably wearing the number 10 Neymar left behind when he signed for Barcelona.
Barbosa is in Brazil’s squad for Copa America after making just one international appearance, that cap went to plan though as he scored on his international debut in the 2-0 win over Panama last weekend.
The exciting youngster has emerged on the Gunners radar and also Chelsea and Manchester United‘s, with all three clubs eyeing attacking reinforcements.
The young forward has caught the eye of many giant clubs around Europe. There is no doubt about the youngster’s talent, speed and natural ability which has pleased the eye of scouts watching.
Barbosa is extremely tricky and pacy and is a nightmare for defenders, at just 5ft 9in he is able to balance himself to glide by defenders. The Gunners will be attracted especially to the versatility of Barbosa, although he is a left-footed player who prefers to play on the right so he can cut in to use his stronger foot; he is also used in a more central role or even on the left. Another aspect to Barbosa’s game is his natural coolness in front of goal, something that will please Arsene Wenger. Although he is just 19-years old he is very composed and mature with his natural finishing. Not only does Barbosa score goals, he also contributes to assists and can act as a playmaker.
Although Barbosa has been used in three different positions he still could potentially take the number 9 role at Arsenal which they so badly need.
Goals have dried up for the North Londoners scoring just 65 goals in 38 games and missing several clear cut chances. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud have especially been responsible for this and they haven’t been able to repay the faith which Arsene Wenger has kept in them. Both players have struggled since the turn of the year and the place in the team is in huge risk going into next season. Also more worrying for the Gunners, Danny Welbeck has recently been ruled out for up to 9 months due to a knee injury and with his recent injury record it may take even longer for the forward to recover.
Barbosa will not be cheap, the masterly teenage sensation has a £40million release clause which is obviously a huge gamble, but for someone who is potentially a star in the making and the next big thing the high fee requested should not stop a club taking the risk.
Arsenal are not in for an easy run in the signing of Barbosa with French giants PSG and Premier League big boys Manchester United and Chelsea are already tracking the Santos forward.