“The perfect number 9 for Arsenal” – Gunners great names ideal striker signing after admitting Aubameyang gamble backfired

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Arsenal have been advised to seal the transfer of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez as the “perfect” replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gunners are short of quality up front at the moment after allowing Aubameyang to leave in the middle of the season without signing a replacement.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, former Arsenal star Michael Thomas made it clear he’d welcome the signing of Nunez in that number 9 role, though he admitted it could now be difficult for his old club to win the race for his signature.

“Darwin Nunez has put in some really strong performances in the Champions League this year and he will be a great addition for any club,” Thomas said. “He is strong, good with his feet and has that Erling Haaland-like instinct in front of goal.

“He would be the perfect number 9 for Arsenal, but if we do not get top four then I think it will be hard to acquire him. All the top teams have now seen what he can do on the biggest stage now.

Darwin Nunez celebrates a goal for Benfica

“It all hangs in the balance but there is going to be a lot of movement from clubs this summer, and I could see him ending up at Bayern Munich should Robert Lewandowski leave.”

Thomas also discussed the need for a signing up front after the gamble of letting Aubameyang go without signing a replacement seemed to backfire for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

“Aubameyang was always going to score once he made the move to Barcelona,” Thomas said. “The league and club suit his style of play and what they’re asking of him to do in games are to his strengths.

“At Arsenal we need a different style of striker to benefit the whole team, and unfortunately he couldn’t be that player towards the end of his time at the club.

“It was however a big gamble getting rid of a player of his ability mid season without suitable cover – the top four would surely be beyond all doubt now if we’d got someone in.”

Thomas also named Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as someone who could be a good signing for Arsenal, though he insisted the asking price would have to be a little lower than some reports have suggested.

“Neves is a very good player,” Thomas said. “Top technical ability and already has experience playing in the Premier League.

“He would be a very good addition to the team but I am not sure about the £60million price tag. A price of £35-40m sounds more reasonable.”

More Stories Darwin Nunez Michael Thomas Mikel Arteta Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Ruben Neves