Arsenal eyeing Real Madrid’s alternative to Mbappe after missing out on Sesko

Arsenal eyeing Real Madrid’s alternative to Mbappe after missing out on Sesko


Arsenal have turned their attentions towards a player touted as an ideal alternative to Kylian Mbappe before he signed for Real Madrid as they seek a centre-forward option in the transfer market.

The Gunners had made RB Leipzig forward Benjamin Sesko their leading summer transfer target but any hopes of brokering a deal for the Slovenia international forward were ended on Wednesday as he signed a new contract with the Bundesliga side.

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Mikel Arteta’s side are now studying numerous alternatives, with the Evening Standard reporting that one of the possibilities to arrive is Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez.

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The Gunners are seeking an overhaul in their attacking unit and, even after being let down by Sesko, they are still willing to sell Gabriel Jesus if they receive a satisfactory offer, according to The Athletic.

Such a deal could fund a move for a player like Mexico international Gimenez, who had been touted as a player worth between €40-60m when Chelsea and Real Madrid closely examined him in January.

READ MORE: Premier League summer transfers 2024: All the Done Deals

Santiago Gimenez, Feyenoord
© IMAGO – Santiago Gimenez, Feyenoord

Gimenez’s Mbappe and Real Madrid link

He appeared an ideal alternative for Los Blancos had they missed out on Mbappe.

At the time, with a move for the Frenchman still in the balance, data analytics experts SciSports showed that Gimenez might have been an even better alternative to the former PSG striker at the Bernabeu.

He is more of a poacher than Mbappe, but that is what Arsenal are after as they seek more firepower. More of a worry is the fact that he is a considerably weaker player even than Kai Havertz, according to SciSports.

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Gimenez vs Mbappe: Playing style

Santiago Gimenez

2023/2024 | Eredivisie (NLD)

Centre forward (2474 Minutes played)

99% ShadowStrikerTarget ManPoacherMobileStrikerPressingForward

Kylian Mbappé

2023/2024 | Ligue 1 (FRA)

Centre forward (1264 Minutes played)

99% ShadowStrikerTarget ManPoacherMobileStrikerPressingForward

But he would fit neatly at the Emirates.

The 23-year-old is given a Club Fit score of 85 for Real Madrid but would also fit into Arteta’s plans at Arsenal rather smoothly given the Gunners get a ranking of 80 from the data experts.

Santiago Gimenez at Arsenal (SciSports)

Club Fit Score 80
Development ****
Playing Time **
Playing Style *****
Formation *****
Likeliness *****

SciSports believes that Gimenez, who would start out as a rotation player at the Emirates, has excellent development opportunities under Arteta and fits both the playing style and formation of the club well.

From his perspective, the only issue with a move to Arsenal might be a lack of playing time, yet for Arteta and the Gunners, this is little concern given the form of Havertz at present.


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