Mikel Arteta after Arsenal's victory against Leicester
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Arsenal director Edu has identified Genk forward Paul Onuachu as a potential replacement for Alexandre Lacazette ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports. The Gunners are widely expected to lose Lacazette, who is yet to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The Frenchman has played a crucial role for Arsenal since arriving from Lyon back in 2017 but will be out of contract in the summer as things stand.
The likes of Atletico Madrid and Juventus have previously been linked with Lacazette and could be tempted to snap him up if he leaves Arsenal next year.
His expected departure will leave the Gunners in need of a top-class successor in order to stand the best chance of returning to the Premier League’s upper reaches in the near future.
A number of high-profile names have been linked with the north London club in recent months, including the likes of Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri and Real Sociedad marksman Alexander Isak.
However, it seems as though Edu may have found the perfect candidate in the form of Onuachu.
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The Genk forward is attracting plenty of interest from Arsenal, while Aston Villa have also been credited with a desire to bring him to the Premier League, according to Corriere dello Sport.
The report claims that offers have ‘already arrived’ for the 27-year-old, who has racked up a total of ten goals from just 12 league appearances this season.
Onuachu would be able to provide a new dimension to Arsenal’s attacking threat, with his imposing frame and prolific finishing ability set to cause plenty of problems for Premier League defenders.
However, it remains to be seen whether the Gunners can tempt Genk into selling, with the striker tied down until the summer of 2024.
He recently issued a come-and-get-me plea to any interested club, revealing his desire to seek a new challenge and insisting that he will be sold if a suitable offer is made at club level.
“I can do nothing more to decorate a transfer,” Onuachu told Voetbalkrant last month.
“The football world is not always fair. I am still convinced that I could have made a nice transfer. In addition, many clubs are currently not having an easy time financially due to the pandemic.
“Have new agreements been made in the meantime? Genk will cooperate if an offer is made that all parties agree with.”
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Meanwhile, Genk manager Dimitri de Conde has urged Liverpool to land Onuachu ahead of Arsenal and Villa in January.
He declared back in September that his player would bring plenty of desirable qualities to Anfield if he is snapped up by the six-time European champions in the near future.
“Did you see Liverpool against Chelsea? Liverpool have the best strikers, but none with the same profile as Onuachu,” said De Conde.
“He would have scored against ten men. I’m not saying that Paul would play 90 minutes every week in Liverpool, but a club like that could really use him.”
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