Opinion: Darwin Nunez could be the answer for Arsenal
LISBON, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 26: Darwin Nunez of SL Benfica celebrates after scoring a goal during the Liga NOS match between SL Benfica and Belenenses SAD at Estadio da Luz on October 26, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

In what is one of the most open Premier League seasons in years, Arsenal find themselves with a real chance of potentially challenging for their first title since the Invincibles of 2003/04. 

The only thing that may hold The Gunners back is their lack of killer instinct up front with Alexandre Lacazette registering three goals this term. 

None of which have come in his last three games and missing a crucial chance at home to Leicester City on Sunday, Mikel Arteta may be thinking about reinforcements with Eddie Nketiah seemingly not ready in the Spaniard's eyes. 

One player Arsenal could well look at is Darwin Núñez from SL Benfica

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Who is Darwin Núñez?

Núñez only signed for Benfica in the summer from Almeria for a fee of €24m but he is already making waves in Portugal, in both the Liga NOS and the Europa League

This comes as no surprise however as during the 19/20 LaLiga2 season, the Uruguayan netted 16 goals in 30 games and also registered two assists. His move to Benfica may have been the right sort of step for the forward but he is quickly showing the top European sides that he is the real deal. 

The striker has also featured for the Uruguay national team in an international friendly from the bench against Peru after only being on the pitch for five minutes. 

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Stats and Analysis

This season for Benfica, Núñez has been nothing short of a revelation. The forward has only netted the one goal in the league but in the Europa League, the Uruguayan netted a hat-trick in his opening game of the competition as Águias ran out 4-2 winners over Lech Poznan

The forward however offers a lot more than just goals, he has provided his team mates with four assists in Liga NOS this season, the most of any player in the league and also averages two key passes per game. 

Núñez is also a competent dribbler and is always looking to be direct and get at defences, something Arsenal miss when they are without the likes of Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe. 

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Across both the Europa League and Liga NOS combined, the forward averages 3.3 dribbles per game with 1.7 of these being successful, showing his ability to beat players and his comfort with the ball at his feet. 

The forward is also not lacking in physical attributes, the 21-year-old stands at 6ft2 tall and he puts this to good use.

He has gone up for a total of 4.2 aerial duels in all competitions and has come away with winning 2.3 of these, a 54% win ratio and quite possibly a presence Arsenal have been missing in the box. 

The Verdict

Arsenal should go for Núñez, he would be a physical presence up top for the North London side and is already proving to be a handful in one of the top leagues outside of the 'big five' leagues. 

One issue on any potential deal could be the cost, Benfica have already demanded a fee potential fee of €45m from Tottenham Hotspur for forward Carlos Vinicius after a breakout season last term and they may well do the same with Núñez. 

The other issue would be depending on where The Gunners want to spend their cash, they chased Lyon's Houssem Aouar all summer without any luck and may well look to go back in for him in January.

They would be crazy not to get Núñez should the opportunity to do so be put upon them.