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Arsenal report: Gunners in pole position to land "the new Firmino", after he admits he loves the club

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal target Jonathan David may well pick north London as his next destination - thanks to a long-term support he has for the club.

Football.London are reporting that the Canadian striker - who has been compared to Roberto Firmino, in his technical ability and link-up play - is not only a target for the shot-shy Gunners, the feeling of admiration is mutual.

"European clubs made me dream," David told L’Equipe earlier this year. "I watched Barca a lot, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, with Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira."

David has taken a little while to settle into life at Lille but has enjoyed 11 goals in 17 matches this season. The 21-year-old has drawn comparisons to Anthony Martial in the past - but given his conversion from an attacking midfielder into more of a no.9, many have made the link to Liverpool's Firmino.

The Reds themselves have indeed had reported interest - but Arsenal may need David more.

The north Londoners have struggled up front this season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming under particular fire in recent weeks. The Gabonese skipper started the season well but has looked a shadow of himself in recent matches. 

With the Gunners captain now 32, Alexandre Lacazette thought to be leaving for free in the summer and Eddie Nketiah refusing to sign a new deal, Arsenal are in the hunt for a new forward. But while David looks like a long-term replacement for Aubameyang, his profile is more similar to Lacazette.

The Canadian has impressive passing stats and according to FBRef, the two most statistically-similar players in Europe are Brighton's Neal Maupay and Arsenal's Lacazette. 

David is unlikely to come cheap, though.

Arsenal have dealt with Lille numerous times in the last few years, signing club-record signing Nicolas Pepe and centre-back Gabriel from the Ligue 1 champions. In both cases, the Gunners had to pay premium for the players - while David's predecessor up front, Victor Osimhen, cost Napoli a fee of around £64m. 

David could well cost at least £40m, with the starlet becoming one of the most impressive forwards in French football this season.

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.