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Arsenal told Felix prefers ‘attacking’ football amid Gunners transfer links

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Arsenal have once again been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid striker Joao Felix this summer. The Portugal international has previously been a target for the Gunners, though a switch never materialised.

This summer, however, will likely see Mikel Arteta step up his pursuit of a new centre-forward at the club. Despite Eddie Nketiah ’s new long-term deal, the loss of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the past few months leaves the academy product the only natural option for that role.

While the 23-year-old impressed towards the end of the previous campaign, the lack of goals from the position over the course of the season will provide a concern. That is set to be addressed in the market, with a number of high-profile players linked.

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The highly versatile Gabriel Jesus has been most heavily rumoured with a move to Arsenal. football.london understands that the Manchester City forward is on the club’s shortlist of profiles and technical director Edu has held talks with the player’s representatives in recent times.

However, another player who has recently been linked is Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix. The 22-year-old struggled with the Rojiblancos last season, scoring just eight and assisting four in 23 La Liga appearances.

However, there is still plenty of potential there, though former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand has suggested that he may not suit his current side. Speaking to BT Sport in April after the team’s defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League, he said: “Imagine if he [Felix] plays in the team who give him the ball in the final third.

“He’s getting the ball on the halfway line, it’s the furthest place forward, and he’s still got to run 50, 60 yards and eight players to beat… I can’t imagine he sits there and enjoys playing the way he’s asked to play.

“I respect the way [Diego] Simeone plays because he’s brought success to that club, unrivalled from the times before him. But for a player like Joao Felix, he can’t be sitting there on the plane home going, ‘they got the best out of me, they continually get the best out of me as a player’. He won’t be saying that.”

Compare that to what Arteta outlined as his vision when he first took over the club in 2019: “My first task will be to get to know the players better and get them playing the kind of fast, flowing, attacking football that Arsenal supporters around the world want to see.”

The Spaniard has taken a huge leap to get his side playing the sort of football that has received plaudits over the past season. It could be a huge factor in landing someone like Felix in the summer, if Ferdinand’s prediction is true.

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