Paul Merson thinks Arsenal and Chelsea target Joao Felix is similar to Kai Havertz
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Paul Merson thinks Arsenal and Chelsea target Joao Felix is similar to Kai Havertz

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been linked with a move to sign Atletico Madrid striker Joao Felix recently, and Paul Merson has delivered his verdict on the forward.

The Gunners are flying in the Premier League at the moment, but Gabriel Jesus’ injury is a big blow. The Brazilian has arguably been their best player this season, and without him, many feel Arsenal will struggle to challenge Manchester City for the title.

That’s probably why Mikel Arteta and Edu are in the market for a new striker, and Felix’s name has been in the papers a lot recently.

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Paul Merson thinks Arsenal target Joao Felix is similar to Chelsea’s Kai Havertz

David Ornstein revealed after Arsenal’s win over West Ham on Boxing Day that the Gunners are keen to sign Felix, while The Telegraph claimed that Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is prepared to move swiftly to sign the striker.

The 23-year-old Portugal international joined Atletico Madrid for an eye-watering £113 million (BBC) in 2019. He was viewed as the next big thing in world football, but things just haven’t worked out for him.

It looks like Felix is almost certain to leave Atleti in the January transfer window, and the Premier League appears to be his next destination, with his agent, Jorge Mendes, in talks with multiple clubs.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea are on the lookout for a new striker in January, but Merson feels Felix is a bit too ‘lightweight’ for the English game and has compared him to Blues star Kai Havertz.

The pundit wrote on The Daily Star: “I’ve seen Joao Felix linked with them but I think he’d be a bit lightweight in this league and a bit too similar to Kai Havertz.

“They need to find someone more dynamic who can bully defenders and score goals. But those are hard to find.”

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With Jesus out injured, Arsenal only have Eddie Nketiah up top.

The Englishman is a fine player in his own right, but relying on just him until Jesus recovers from his injury and returns to full fitness seems unwise, especially when you’re challenging for the title.

Arsenal could really do with a new striker in the January transfer window, and Felix would be a decent temporary option. He has played at the highest level, is versatile and has shown that he can score goals.

However, Merson is right. The physicality of the Englishman game will not be easy to handle for Felix, and the fact that he would be coming in midway through the season makes it even more difficult.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images
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