Arsenal want this Everton striker who once earned high praise from Martin Keown

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Arsenal’s search for a quality striker has seen the Gunners linked with a number of players upon a move. Everton striker Richarlison is now poached by Arsenal for a summer transfer, as per Planet Sport. The Evertonian has impressed a lot in the last few seasons in the English top flight. Arsenal lost their star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the winter transfer window for free. It was highly anticipated that the Gunners will immediately sign his replacement, only to disappoint their fans by not signing one. However, Arsenal may have finally found their man in Richarlison, who once received immense appreciation from former Gunner Martin Keown.

Arsenal were tipped to sign either Dusan Vlahovich or Alexander Isak in January as the club was in negotiations with both the strikers’ agents. But Arteta instead decided to go ahead with the strikers at his disposal; Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. Technical director Edu however has already started his work of finding a high-quality striker for the Gunners and is reportedly a ‘fan’ of fellow Brazilian Richarlison. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown last year was massively impressed with Richarlison after his powerful display in Everton’s 2-0 beating of Liverpool.

What has former Arsenal player Keown said about Richarlison?

Martin Keown was in the box of Match of the Day for last season’s Merseyside derby which took place in February. An electrifying Everton embarrassed Liverpool at Anfield by winning the derby 2-0. Goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson left Liverpool red-faced at home. Richarlison opened the scoring within 3 minutes of the kick-off. The striker was released by James Rodriguez on goal and Richarlison buried it into the far post. Richarlison was a thorn in the Liverpool defense, who literally failed to cope up with his pace. Martin Keown was in awe of Richarlison’s performance and detailed on his excellence.

The former Arsenal man while speaking on Match of the Day said,

“He (Richarlison) really is a top talent. Ancelotti has said that he’s capable of winning the Ballon d’Or. That’s high praise, but here, you watch him [for the opening goal]. He’s on the move the whole time. Rodriguez, by the way, what a wonderful ball this is into the channel. Terrible marking and he finishes it with aplomb”. Keown even stated that Richarlison was too much to handle for the Liverpool defenders. “And every time they played the ball long, again it’s the central defenders, they just couldn’t deal with him,”

said Keown.

The Gunners in dilemma over Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Though Arsenal are now linked with Richarlison, it was Calvert-Lewin who was first discussed as a potential signing by the North Londoners. Calvert-Lewin to Arsenal rumors were in full swing just a few weeks ago. However, they have eventually cooled down given the Englishman’s poor run of form. But Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are currently on the same wavelength in terms of form. Richarlison has struck only 4 times in 18 league games this timeout, and Calvert-Lewin only 3 times in 9 games. But both have huge potential and proved it over the last few years.

While Richarlison is a perfect Arteta-mould, Calvert-Lewin is the one who fits the technical bill. Though a striker, Richarlison is often seen on the wings. Moreover, his best stats have come from the wings itself, providing substantial evidence that he is not a perfect no.9 which Arsenal needs. Over his 139 appearances for Everton, Richarlison has played 64 games as the no.9, whereas 65 either as of right or left-winger. He has scored 17 in those 64 games as a striker, and 26 in 65 games as a winger. Keown may have witnessed Richarlison giving the Liverpool center-backs a tough time, he is not a striker who regularly does it.

Arsenal needs a top striker for next season given the failures of Lacazette and Nketiah. Moreover, Lacazette and Nketiah are looking at the exit doors in the summer after their contracts are up. Arsenal quickly needs to decide on Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison if they are their last options. Everton are fighting relegation this season, and god forbid if they do sink, Arsenal could find it easier in signing either of Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison.

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