Arsenal are enjoying success under the management of Mikel Arteta, having steadily improved their position in the Premier League and now competing with Manchester City in a compelling title race.

Having failed to finish inside the top four across the past six campaigns, the Gunners are now flying, having clinched 54 points from 23 matches, level on points with Manchester City and with a game in hand.

The north London giants have scored 51 goals in the league, second only to the Cityzens, and the free-flowing, fluid nature of their attacking play is a large reason behind the meteoric rise this term.

Gabriel Jesus was signed from the reigning Premier League champions for £45m last summer to bolster the frontline. However, with the Brazilian currently nursing a long-term injury picked up at the 2022 World Cup, a rueful gaze from technical director Edu and co might be cast back to last year, when Arsenal were considering a swoop for then-Real Sociedad prodigy Alexander Isak, according to The Athletic.

The Swedish sensation ended up joining Newcastle United in a £63m deal instead, but had Jesus arrived with Isak in tow, Arsenal’s bid to achieve domestic supremacy for the first time in almost two decades could be in a much firmer grip.

Should Arsenal rue missing out on Isak?

After a positively resounding first half of the campaign, the Gunners have conceded ground in the title race this month after failing to win in any of the past three outings, with Guardiola’s Sky Blues drawing level on points in midweek after a blitzing 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

With Arsenal going through a rough patch right now, they could have certainly done with the talent of a prodigious striker such as Isak.

At Real Sociedad, the 23-year-old scored 44 goals from 131 appearances, including 17 from 34 league games in his penultimate campaign with the La Liga outfit, and there is every chance that he could blossom into one of the most devastating attackers in European football.

This season, the Swede has been blighted by his own fitness troubles, missing 13 matches due to a hamstring issue and scoring four times from 13 outings, including three goals in the league from just four starts.

Hailed by former Willem II coach Adrie Koster for his “complete” skill set, Arteta could have nurtured and developed Isak to the very best of his ability among one of the most potent teams in Europe right now.

The Swedish ace, who according to Kev Lawson is “often described as a unicorn for his mixture of size & technical ability“, is proving his worth in the English top flight, ranking among the top 11% of forwards across Europe’s five main leagues for successful take-ons and the top 12% for progressive carries, as per FBref.

Whether Arteta would have been able to convince Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke to part with the requisite funds to land both Isak and Jesus, is another matter. However, just imagine where the Gunners could be right now if they had signed the 23-year-old as well as the Brazilian, who had contributed to 11 goals in 14 Premier League games for Arteta’s side prior to his injury.

As it is, they will attempt to ride out their current lapse in form, and with Jesus remaining sidelined, those concerns may have been alleviated somewhat had Isak come to north London rather than Tyneside last August.


  • The Latest Soccer Videos
  • The Latest Soccer Videos
  • RSS Football FanCast

  • RSS 90min EN

  • Follow me on Twitter