Arsenal striker targets: Five contenders ranked after Sesko snub

Harry De Cosemo
Arsenal striker targets
Arsenal striker targets

Another hope bites the dust. Arsenal want to sign a new striker this summer, but a number of their top targets are becoming increasingly unattainable.

Their long-term interest in Newcastle striker Alexander Isak looks difficult to action given his recent comments about being happy on Tyneside amid talk of a new contract.

Now Benjamin Sesko is on the verge of committing his immediate future to RB Leipzig, albeit with a “gentleman’s agreement” over a future move.

Arsenal could hold their nerve for a year to see if either Isak or Sesko become available, but with Liverpool heading for a transition season under Arne Slot and Pep Guardiola’s long-term Manchester City future unclear, now is the time to get into shape ready for another Premier League title challenge.

With that in mind, here are five alternative strikers Arsenal could buy, in reverse order of likelihood.


Victor Osimhen to Arsenal?

Many Arsenal fans may put Osimhen at the very top of their list of striker targets, and he is still very much available this summer. The problem: Napoli are hard sellers. Think Daniel Levy and then double it.

The Nigerian, whose 26 Serie A goals inspired the club to their first league title since 1990 in 2022/23, signed a new contract in the autumn with a reported 120m euros release clause. Napoli, who have recently appointed former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Antonio Conte as their new coach, are unlikely to entertain anything less.

There aren’t many better options out there for Arsenal, but they’ll have to work very hard to afford him. With Saudi interest emerging too, their pursuit may not get any easier. But his signing would be the type to transform Arteta’s side.

Serhou Guirassy to Arsenal?

If the Gunners are willing to wait a year to re-evaluate the situation with Sesko or Isak next summer, they could do far worse than sign Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy with an eye on the short term. Like Zirkzee, the Guinean exploded last season to help an unfancied side reach the Champions League; his 28 Bundeslia goals in as many games incredibly helped Stuttgart finish above Bayern Munich in second.

The reason he could be seen as a shorter-term option is the comparatively small outlay it would take to get him to the Emirates Stadium. Fabrizio Romano tweeted last month to confirm his release clause remains 17.5m euros. Having built himself up from lower-league wilderness in France and Germany, there are a number of clubs that could do much worse than sign Guirassy; Arsenal are one of them.

👉 Newcastle ‘anxious’ as Arsenal, City target chooses ‘first-choice destination’ amid £100m PSR sale ‘fear’
👉 Man Utd, Arsenal target’s £34m summer transfer is his ‘inevitable fate’ as club ‘edge closer’ to signing
👉 Arsenal set ‘wild’ asking price for Newcastle target likely to ‘command quite a bit of money’


Ivan Toney to Arsenal?

Probably the safest option on this list, but perhaps in the eyes of Gunners fans, among the least exciting. Toney has made no secret of his desire to leave Brentford in search of a big move this summer, having built his way up through the lower leagues after a false start as a teenager at Newcastle.

In many ways, the 28-year-old is a modern-day target man. He is big and strong, able to hold the ball up and bring others into play, but he can turn a defender well and he has a first touch to die for.

Those who have watched him closely, from the scouts at Newcastle to the board at Peterborough, where he kickstarted his career in 2018, have always insisted he was destined to the top.

Toney lost valuable time last season due to a ban for betting breaches, but he has proven himself consistently in the Premier League with 36 goals in what is effectively two-and-a-half seasons.

Currently gearing up for Euro 2024 with England, the 28-year-old is ready for the next step. Brentford are aware of that, and from Arsenal’s perspective, this deal doesn’t appear too difficult to strike. They may just consider all their options first, though.


Joshua Zirkzee to Arsenal?

Another of Europe’s most in-form strikers from last season who came from the shadows to reach real prominence, Zirkzee helped Bologna reach the Champions League.

It was an unexpected story, but it mirrored Zirkzee’s somewhat, too. The Dutchman, 23, had been in and around elite football throughout his career, coming through at Bayern Munich. But he failed to make the grade at the Allianz Arena, playing just 12 Bundesliga games and scoring four goals.

A successful loan spell at Anderlecht in 2021/22 alerted Bologna, who took a chance on him in 2022. Zirkzee struggled in his first season, scoring two Serie A goals as the club finished ninth, before he scored 12 times last season, leading his team from the front.

He is still raw and arguably not prolific enough for what Arsenal need right now, but with a reported 40m euro buyout clause in his contract, he could offer good value. Stylistically, he suits Arteta perfectly, linking well with his teammates and coming deep for the ball, with an added threat off the shoulder.

Viktor Gyokeres to Arsenal?

The Sweden striker is the other prominent name linked with Arsenal in the gossip pages. Since swapping Coventry for Sporting Lisbon last summer, Gyokeres’ reputation has exploded. He has scored 36 goals in all competitions this season, with a further 12 assists, helping Sporting to the Portuguese league title, and that form hasn’t gone unnoticed across Europe.

It is an impressive return for a player who once failed to make the grade at Brighton, but he had already caught the eye in the Championship. Clubs like Sporting and city rivals Benfica have a history of turning a profit on their most proficient talent, and with a reported 100m euro release clause, he won’t come cheap.

But Arsenal will be getting a ready-made star at the right age if they do take the gamble and sign him; it is highly unlikely they will be shunned if they pull up a chair at the negotiating table.

He is the top scorer across Europe in 2024 ahead of Kylian Mbappe. You might have heard of him.