Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Raul de Tomas from Espanol.
football.london understands that Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus is one name on the club’s shortlist of profiles and technical director Edu has held talks with the player’s representatives. The Brazilian international has just over 12 months left on his contract at the Etihad Stadium and first-team appearances could be hard to come by next season considering City have signed Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez this summer.
Now, SuperDeporte have reported that the north Londoners are also interested in signing Espanyol star de Tomas, who has a release clause of €70 million (£60 million.) The report also claims that the La Liga club could be tempted by an offer of around €25 million (£21.5 million) for the 27-year-old.
READ MORE: Arsenal ‘plan’ £70m spending spree as Edu looks to wrap up two transfers after Fabio Vieira deal
Some supporters will be asking who exactly is the Spanish international? Luckily, football.london has you covered.
Who is Raul de Tomas?
Aged 27, de Tomas is a talented forward born in Madrid, Spain. He is predominantly a central striker, currently plying his trade with La Liga outfit Espanyol but has occasionally operated on the wing, or as a second-striker when called upon.
The Spaniard came through the ranks at Real Madrid’s esteemed academy before enjoying productive loan stints with Cordoba, Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano, eventually signing for Portuguese giants Benfica in 2019. Six months later de Tomas had left Os Encarnados, joining Espanyol for a reported £20million.
What would he bring to the club?
Arteta has consistently shown that he wants the player spearheading his attack to excel on the ball whilst offering the ability to bring the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard into the game. This is something that de Tomas would have no problem with, averaging 1.63 passes into the final third, 3.64 progressive carries and 1.39 dribbles completed per game this season.
Comparatively, departing frontman Lacazette scored 1.52, 2.32 and 0.86 in those respective categories last term.
The Frenchman’s solid ability to hold the ball up was one of the main reasons he started 20 Premier League games last season, although he only managed to score four league goals last campaign. However, de Tomas didn’t deal with similar problems in front of goal, notching 17 goals in La Liga – a hugely impressive record when you consider he also shoulders much of the ball retention burden for Espanyol, the same way that Lacazette did for Arteta’s side.
Despite possessing the rare blend of high-level goalscoring and elite hold-up play, the 27-year-old does possess some faults that could put the Gunners off signing him over the aforementioned Jesus of City. The Spanish international, who reportedly has a £58.6million release clause, isn’t the type of forward to press from the front, registering just 8.8 pressures per game last season, a far cry from the whopping 14.9 that Jesus averaged.
What has been said?
Arteta himself has previously highlighted the importance of pressing from his striker, heaping praise on Aubameyang’s energy towards the tail end of 2021. “I wouldn’t go to the goals,” the Spaniard said back in October.
“Again it is what Auba is transmitting on the pitch. I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now. Apart from the goals, the celebration when they put the ball in the net, do you see the way he runs, the purpose he has to press the ball, and, when he takes it his movement, his link, how he is leading the game, not when he is static, and then he puts the ball in the net.
“I prefer this Auba.” The lack of intensity may mean that de Tomas is lower down the Gunners’ targets as technical director Edu continues to scour for a striker to end the club’s six-year UEFA Champions League hiatus.
Source by Football London