Who is Gianluca Scamacca? The ‘Italian Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ linked with £43m Arsenal transfer

Arsenal transfer news: Sassuolo forward Gianluca Sassuolo has been linked with a summer move to the north Londoners

Arsenal continue to be linked with a plethora of top-class strikers as technical director Edu looks to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

football.london understands that Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus and AS Roma’s Tammy Abraham are two names on the club’s shortlist of profiles whilst Sassuolo frontman Gianluca Scamacca has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in recent times.

The Athletic have previously reported that the Italian international has been discussed by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu. Now, Italian outlet Repubblica have claimed that Arteta is interested in signing Scamacca and the north London club are ready to invest €35million (£30million) to bring the 23-year-old to the Emirates Stadium this summer, although it is claimed it would take €50million (£43million) to prise him away from the Neroverdi.

But who is Scamacca and what would he bring to Arsenal if he did sign? football.london takes a closer look.

Who is Gianluca Scamacca?

Aged just 23, Scamacca is a talented forward born in Rome, Italy.

He is a tall forward, standing at 6ft 5ins and currently plying his trade with Serie A side Sassuolo. The Italian spent four consecutive seasons out on loan, spending time in the Dutch Eredivisie as well as Serie B before establishing himself as the Neroverdi’s preferred no.9 last season, scoring 16 league goals in the process.

Why do Arsenal want him?

Arsenal allowed Aubameyang to join Catalan giants Barcelona back in January and the club also announced on Friday afternoon that Lacazette would be leaving the club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the month. That leaves a huge void in Arteta’s squad that a player like Scamacca could help fill.

The commanding forward’s physical build means he would have no problem adjusting to the physical nature of the Premier League and his aerial prowess is something that the Gunners have severely lacked since Olivier Giroud departed for Chelsea back in 2018. The thought of fullback Kieran Tierney whipping in crosses from the left flank into Scamacca is a mouthwatering prospect for the north Londoners’ supporters.

What would he bring to the club?

At 23-years-old the prolific frontman has plenty of time to develop his all-around game but his ability outside the box is nothing to be sniffed at. In fact, his ball retention and hold-up play profiles extremely well when compared to other strikers that have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, averaging 1.09 key passes per 90 minutes in Serie A last term, according to fbref.

Arteta has also made it no secret of his desire to play a pressing system and despite the Italian international’s tall frame, he still is not afraid to work off the ball. The former PSV forward registered 14.34 pressured per 90 in the league last season, more than the aforementioned Jesus (14.14) and Abraham (13.63) could manage.

It is all well and good linking up play and pressing well but Arsenal’s inability to consistently find the back of the net proved to be their downfall during the latter stages of the 2021/22 campaign. Arteta has mentioned the need to bring in players that possess ‘goal threat’ frequently and this is something that Scamacca has in abundance.

When asked by SkySports what qualities he wants in a new striker, the Spaniard said. “He puts the ball in the net, that’s priority number one. Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing. You can play good football but you need enough goal threat in the team.”

As mentioned previously, Scamacca netted 16 Serie A goals last season, with just one of those coming from the penalty spot. This reads even more impressive when you consider that he played just 2,150 minutes which equates to less than 24 full 90-minute matches, meaning he scored 0.67 goals per 90 – a considerably better return than both Jesus and Abraham.

What has been said?

Given the prolific frontman’s rare blend of powerful ball striking and dominant physical stature, he has been compared to AC Milan legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Whilst the Italian claimed it is flattering to be compared to the Swede, he also admitted he has his own play style.

Speaking about the comparison, he told SempreMilan.it: “He is a champion, being likened to such a champion is only nice. But I have my way, my way of playing.”

Despite extending his contract with Sassuolo earlier this year, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano previously confirmed that the 23-year-old will be leaving the Italian club this summer. “Yes, yes, he will leave Sassuolo,” Romano told Ferdinand’s YouTube podcast.

“He extended the contract a few days ago but he will leave Sassuolo. It was an extension to allow a potential loan with obligation to buy clause. So that’s why he extended the contract, and yes, there are many clubs interested in him. In January, Borussia Dortmund were asking about him. There are many clubs interested.”

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