Arsenal have options in attack with Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the Gunners were planning to replace Aubameyang before the January transfer window shut. One player on their radar was Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, but his asking price has proven too steep to match.
The 22-year-old joined La Real from Borussia Dortmund in 2019 and has gone on to make 114 appearances in all competitions, scoring 41 goals with seven assists. Isak, who’s bagged eight goals for the Swedish national team, was prolific last season which is likely why he caught Arsenal’s attention – he scored 17 goals and had two assists from 34 La Liga games.
Isak has only managed four goals in 18 league outings this season, however, netting a total of eight goals with two assists in 25 while scoring just once since October. He’s not been at his best in 2021/22, but La Real are still asking for a premium if they’re to part company with the hot prospect.
Arsenal were told to pay £75m to sign Isak but have been unwilling to get close to that valuation. The Gunners had a bid of £60m rejected and aren’t going to improve it, so his future will not be away from Spain. Isak, who does boast 21 goals from his last 46 league games, even turned up to training today without any thought on the rumours, so he’s clearly not considering leaving.
Add to the fact Aubameyang might be staying at Arsenal as they’re struggling to move him on to Barcelona, and it suggests Isak isn’t an attainable target. If Erling Haaland has a release clause that’s less than Isak’s valuation, what sense is there paying more for a lower calibre talent?
Arsenal can’t provide European football or the promise of trophies anymore, but they can still do better than pay over the odds for players.