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According to The Sun, Arsenal are ready to rival Manchester United in the pursuit of Aleksandr Sobolev. The Krylya Sovetov forward has recently admitted that the Gunners’ scouts were monitoring him and it is believed that Unai Emery is interested in his services. Sobolev’s current contract at KS Samara expires in 2021, but a move to Premier League could be on the horizon.
Sobolev’s success at Krylya Sovetov
Sobolev has been a part of the Krylya Sovetov side since the start of last year when he moved in from Tom Tomsk. The striker impressed in the 1. Division, which is the second tier of Russian football, scoring eight goals in 12 matches. As a result, he was given a chance to shine for the Samara first-team during the first half of last season.
However, Sobolev scored only one goal in 12 league appearances. His lack of productivity in the Russian top-flight forced the club to send him out on loan to Enisey earlier this year. He scored three goals in ten matches, but credit should be given to Krylya for persisting with the striker and allowing him to shine this season.
And it ultimately paid off, it seems, as Sobolev has already bagged ten goals in just twelve matches in the ongoing campaign. His explosive performances have helped Kyrlya stay away from the relegation scrap. The 22-year-old is also the joint top-scorer in the league.
Do Arsenal really need Sobolev?
Sobolev could be an ideal Olivier Giroud replacement Arsenal never had. Indeed, the Gunners have lacked the presence of a physically imposing and opportunistic striker in the final third-ever since the departure of the Frenchman.
Sobolev, in that regard, could be an excellent fit. The Russian international boasts an imposing 1.95m frame that allows him to dominate the defenders in physical duels. It also hands him a considerable advantage in the air – making him an indirect threat from set-pieces. The 22-year-old also has a box of trickery up his sleeves and can dribble past defender if needed.
As for Arsenal, they already boast the services of a deadly offensive combination of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. However, the physical and intimidating presence of someone like Sobolev could provide an additional dimension in the attack.
He is also ideally fitted to the physically astute nature of the Premier League and at the age of just 22, Sobolev could be a smart long-term investment for the Gunners.