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Believe it or not, there is a striker plying his trade in Europe who has scored five more goals than Robert Lewandowski this season, eight more than Erling Haaland, nine more than Mo Salah, ten more than Karim Benzema and 15 more than Kylian Mbappe. 

The standard of opposition may be lower in Switzerland than it is in the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and even the much-maligned French top flight, but the numbers Arthur Cabral is producing at Basel deserve recognition. 

In 19 games, Cabral has found the net 21 times already this term, his latest effort coming from the penalty spot during Thursday’s 3-1 Europa League victory over Omonia Nicosia, swept home confidently and without even a shred of self-doubt. 

It remains to be seen whether Cabral is another Mo Salah or the second coming of Albian Ajeti.

But, with Premier League scouts descending like a plague of ravenous locusts on St Jakobs Park, the 23-year-old may soon be offered the opportunity to prove that he can make the step up to a much more competitive division.

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Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images

Is Arthur Cabral Basel’s next Mo Salah?

According to TEAMtalk, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Everton, West Ham United, Brighton and a Southampton side still suffering the after-effects of Danny Ings’ departure are all taking a serious interest in Cabral ahead of the January transfer window. 

Leeds United are watching closely too, having made initial enquiries as far back as 2020 – at the request of Marcelo Bielsa, no less.

It is believed that Leeds asked about Cabral last summer too, only to be informed that obtaining the requisite work permit would be all-but impossible at the time. 

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With the limitations of Marcelo Bielsa’s wafer-thin squad having been exposed by the recent and untimely loss of Patrick Bamford, a new centre-forward could be the difference between a third successive season of Premier League football and succumbing to ‘Second Season Syndrome’.

But after failing to lift the Swiss Super League trophy in each of the last four seasons, Basel will be praying that Cabral sticks around until June, rather than just January. 

Who knows how many goals he will have by then. It is 21 and counting… 

Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

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