Arsenal players wearing the number 9 shirt during the Premier League era have not always excelled. In fact one of two of them have been little short of awful. Francis Jeffers, Park Chu-young, Julian Baptista? Lucas Perez and Davor Suker. Life at Arsenal wasn’t easy for Suker, not with a certain Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp in the team. Is he remembered more for his penalty miss against Galatasaray than his goals? Perhaps. What about Lukas Podolski and his wicked left foot? I always liked him but didn’t think Arsene Wenger got the best out of him. Alan ‘Smudger’ Smith was definitely one of the better ones. Jose Antonio Reyes and Eduardo were in my opinion, fantastic players. One couldn’t really settle in England, the other, well, we know what happened to him and he was never the same. Paul Merson wore number 9 for a couple of seasons in the mid 90’s and Alex Lacazette over the last few years but Merson was a midfielder whilst Lacazette had a very up and down time stay in north London. Despite not scoring many goals, his last season was perhaps one of his better ones. But the best number 9 of the lot, has to be Nicolas Anelka. Signed for £500,000 from PSG in 1997, he was sold to Real Madrid for £22.5 million with a Premier League and FA Cup medal in his pocket. If only he’d stayed at Arsenal eh…
Arsenal have had other strikers who faired much better in a different numbered shirt but this summer, thanks to Edu and Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have a number 9 who on paper, should put an end to the jinx associated with the number. I’m pretty sure that had Gabriel Jesus not previously worked with Mikel Arteta at Man City, or perhaps Edu wasn’t a fellow countryman, the deal might not have been done. The relationship between Man City and Arsenal must be pretty good too, especially if they’re going sell Oleksandr Zinchenko to us too.
A few years ago, Arsene Wenger was the big attraction but perhaps now, Edu and Mikel Arteta have pulling power too. Arsenal will always be an attractive proposition in itself but players have to believe in the project and the people selling it to them. Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos could have gone anywhere really but Arsenal chose them and they chose Arsenal. If Arsenal end up signing Oleksandr Zinchenko and Man Utd get Martinez, I don’t doubt there will be discussions as the season goes by as to which club got the better deal. I’d imagine a few of think we know the answer already and Zinchenko hasn’t even signed for us. Yet.
Fabio Vieira, Arsenal’s new number 10 player in a number 21 shirt.
I’m an offensive player. Vieira told The Athletic. I like to make the last pass, and to help team-mates to score. And I like to score goals too. The manager told me he knows I can play as a midfielder — No 8, No 10 — or on the wing, left side or right side. They know I am a versatile player. I prefer No 10. It’s my real position.
Honestly, he’s the guy who excites me the most ahead of the new season. Not because he’s better than anyone else but because I don’t know what he’s going to bring to the team. Similarly, what to expect from Marquinhos is unknown too but if we’re to believe what’s written in the back pages, Arsenal risked a potential court case brought about by Wolverhampton Wanderers to get him. The fee we paid was a “travesty” because he should have been sold for a lot more than he was according to his previous club São Paulo. He looks strong and more than capable of handling himself in the Premier League. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we’ve signed Jesus but with him, we know what we’re getting although I must admit, I totally misjudged the reasons for wanting to move when Arsenal were first linked to him. He’s since made it quite clear that he’s not putting his feet up for a long time yet.
I don’t think Arsenal are done yet in this transfer window either, not even if we sign Zinchenko. Mikel Arteta previously suggested that the club need the kind of numbers of last summer’s transfer window brought in so perhaps another 2/3 are yet to come. Or am I just being greedy? Lol
Arsenal played Everton overnight and won 2-0. Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka scored the goals. I wonder how many times I’ll be writing that this season.
See you in the comments.