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Arsenal ‘interested’ in signing Noah Okafor to bolster key area

Noah Okafor

Arsenal are being linked with a host of strikers as Mikel Arteta seeks to bolster the attack ahead of next season. The Gunners are believed to have Roberto Firmino, Elye Wahi and Rasmus Højlund on their shortlist, but David Kent of Mail Online says Noah Okafor is the latest name to add.

The 22-year-old joined RB Salzburg from FC Basel in 2020 and has gone on to make 108 appearances in all competitions, scoring 34 goals with 23 assists. Okafor has contributed 15 goals in 30 games across the board this season, but his long-term future at the Red Bull Arena is uncertain.

The Swiss international, who has a £25m asking price, is out of contract in the summer of 2024 and it remains to be seen if he’ll sign a new deal given all the interest. Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, West Ham United and Inter Milan are keen on Okafor, so he has plenty of options if he leaves Salzburg.

It might make sense for Okafor to be sold while he still has value, rather than be allowed to leave on a free transfer next year. Salzburg paid €11.2m (£9.9m) to sign the 22-year-old and could make more than double their money back through his sale.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was released by Arsenal in last season’s winter transfer window while Alexandre Lacazette was released over the summer, so the Gunners lost their two senior strikers before bringing in Gabriel Jesus. Folarin Balogun was loaned out too, so it makes sense to sign another centre-forward if he’s not getting promoted.

The Gunners are second in the Premier League for goals scored and have three players with double figures this season, so they’re not lacking in the final third. Arsenal’s strikers don’t even have 10 goals between them, however, with Jesus and Nketiah netting nine times between them., so Okafor might be the solution to the problem.

He scored nine goals with nine assists from 21 Austrian Bundesliga games last season and looks set to surpass the goal tally this campaign, so Arsenal could certainly do a lot worse than the Swiss international. The North Londoners aren’t likely to rush into a decision on Okafor despite the added interest, as they have a lot of transfer targets to weigh up.

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