‘He was second-best striker in 2017’ – Journalist says 28-year-old free agent ‘could be a good substitute striker’ for Arsenal

Italian journalist Daniele Fisichella has claimed that Andrea Belotti could be a good second-choice striker for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. Belotti, who has spent the last seven years in Turin, became a free agent on July 1.

On Monday, July 4, Premier League giants Arsenal announced the signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City. The Brazilian centre-forward has joined the club on a five-year deal, with the Gunners paying City a £45m transfer fee for the player.

Jesus, alongside Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a five-year extension with the Emirates team, is expected to lead the team’s attack for the foreseeable future.

Three clubs tried to hijack the Gabriel Jesus case until Sunday June 26… but he always wanted Arsenal first. Now it’s finally official and confirmed. 🚨⚪️🔴 #AFCSigned last week, delivered today. £45million for Man City. Contract until June 2027. https://t.co/DeOrRqn6IO

The Gunners haven’t been linked with any other striker this summer but Fisichella believes Belotti could serve as a good reserve striker at the Emirates. Speaking on talkSPORT (via HITC), the Italian said:

“Belotti is the kind of player we always wondered in Italy, how good he could be on the international stage. He has always played for Torino, in the last seven years and only one season he played in Europe for Torino. So he did very well in Serie A. He scored more than 100 goals for Torino. He was the second best striker in 2017. But his record with the Italian national team isn’t great either .

He added :

“Now it’s his chance. He is very good in the box. Very physical, and able to hold the ball well, we saw him at the Euros when we saw him come off the bench, replacing Immobile, he’s always done a good job I’m not sure in the Premier League he can be a 20 goals a season striker but certainly for a team like Arsenal or others he could be a good reserve striker Like on the bench.

Belotti has spent the past eight seasons in Italy’s Serie A top flight, scoring 106 goals and providing 27 assists in 270 appearances in all competitions.


Arsenal unlikely to move for Andrea Belotti

As Fisichella pointed out, Andrea Belotti indeed has the quality to excel as a substitute striker at Arsenal. However, given Nketiah’s performances at the end of the 2021-22 campaign (five goals in the last seven starts), Arteta is unlikely to complicate his life unnecessarily.

🗣 Gabriel Jesus on a joint celebration with Nketiah: “Not yet but for sure we will because, you know, I saw that he celebrates like me so I’m happy to celebrate like him too.” #afc https://t.co/IK8XYgpUBh

At just 23, Nketiah has plenty of room to improve his numbers and become a potent source of goals for the Gunners. Signing Belotti could jeopardize his development, something no Gunner wants to see.

Belotti’s talents should land him at a good club, but we’re not convinced he’ll find a new home in the upper echelons of the English Premier League.


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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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