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Mikel Arteta’s new headache as details of Arsenal’s first-choice penalty taker after Gabriel Jesus signing emerge

Mikel Arteta’s new headache as details of Arsenal’s first-choice penalty taker after Gabriel Jesus signing emerge

Following the acquisition of Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal’s first-team roster, Mikel Arteta will have a major decision next season.

On Monday (July 4), it was officially revealed that a £45 million deal for the Brazil international had been completed, making him the Gunners’ fourth acquisition of the summer transfer window thus far, following deals for youthful winger Marquinhos, playmaker Fabio Vieira, and goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Perhaps more crucially, Arsenal have a new No. 9 in Gabriel Jesus, to to the joy of manager Mikel Arteta, who has prioritised strengthening the centre-forward position: “I’m very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature,” the Spaniard stated.

“I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here. This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”

Arteta may have unearthed the ideal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette successors when completing a deal for Gabriel Jesus.

Not only will he lead the line for Arsenal next season, but he will also be the first-choice penalty taker.

Prior to being stripped of the captaincy last December, then exiled from the first-team squad and allowed to join Barcelona on a free transfer the following month, Aubameyang was the Gunners’ go-to man when granted a penalty kick.

However, with two missed penalties last season, the 32-year- old’s record from the spot appeared to be deteriorating prior to his departure, as he has failed with four in Arsenal colours since January 2018 – and he was not given the opportunity to improve on that record.

As a result, despite missing his only penalty for the club in a 2-0 win over West Ham United last season, Lacazette proved to be one of the most dependable penalty takers in the Gunners’ roster, with his 10th and final successful spot-kick coming against Leicester City in March.

Because he did not play in the final eight games of the 2021/22 season, the Frenchman was not on the field when Arsenal were given penalties against Chelsea, Manchester United, and Everton. It wasn’t a problem because Bukayo Saka (2x) and Gabriel Martinelli were both 100 percent successful.

But will the two be challenged for penalty duties by the club’s new addition next season? Given that Gabriel Jesus is anticipated to be the Gunners’ main source of goals, he might be assigned as the team’s first-choice taker anytime the team is handed a spot-kick.

However, according to  transfermarkt, there may be a problem with his possible plan because only five of the 12 penalties he’s taken for club and country have been converted, and three of his seven misses have come in the Premier League – one against Tottenham in the 2017/18 season.

Based on how last season ended for Arsenal, it’s safe to say that the battle for the first-choice penalty taker is presently between Saka and Martinelli. 

Now that Gabriel Jesus has arrived, a new name will almost probably be added to the mix, but whether Arteta will be enticed to change her mind remains to be seen.


Mikel Arteta’s new headache as details of Arsenal’s first-choice penalty taker after Gabriel Jesus signing emerge

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