The Curious Case Of The Arsenal Striker


Arsenal have had some special strikers in their recent history. The likes of Henry, Van Persie, Bergkamp and Wright have haunted Premier League defences for years on end but the Gunners seem to be missing that cutting edge as of late. We take a look at their current options, potential transfers and the ones that go away.

Current Squad

For years now Arsenal fans have been pressuring Wenger to splash out on a world-class striker but the Frenchman has not budged. For recent seasons the team have relied on Oliver Giroud as their main man to provide the goals. The French International has certainly chipped in with his fair share but question marks still hang over his head in regards to pushing Arsenal onto European or Premier League glory.

Olivier Giroud (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Olivier Giroud (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) /

If Arsenal are content with just qualifying for the Champions League each season then there is no need to buy another striker, Giroud can supply enough goals for that. However, if they want to go far in the competition and establish themselves as a serious force in European football, they need to look elsewhere. Giroud lacks one vital element to his game, pace. At holding the ball up he is perfect but he needs other players around him to really cause trouble.

Walcott resembles Giroud’s most realistic challenge for the forward role and had been the preferred choice before picking up yet another injury. The Englishman offers far more penetration and poses much more a raw threat. This being said, Walcott is more use to the wing than he is the 18-yard box and sometimes this is reflected in his finishing. However, the former Saints man is adamant that he is capable of playing as a sole striker but he won’t get many more chances to prove himself.

Arsenal’s only other option is Danny Welbeck who continues to occupy the injury list and hasn’t reached his full potential since moving from Old Trafford.

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The Ones That Got Away

With so many rumours surrounding the club during every transfer window, it’s hard to know how close Wenger was to bringing in a world-class striker. He has stood firm on his stance to only sign players who would fit the team and has never been one to panic buy. The summer transfer window suggested Kareem Benzema was on his way to Emirates but such a transfer failed to materialise. Benzema would have been a perfect signing for Arsenal. A strong, fast and efficient player, the Frenchman has been one of the world’s best for quite some time.

Before Benzema, rumours surrounded Suarez. His time with Liverpool was obviously coming to an end and teams from all around the world were desperate to buy the forward. Arsenal were strongly linked and such a combination would have proven deadly. Imagine Sanchez, Ozil and Suarez upfront… not many teams could better that. It seems Wenger is reluctant to challenge the big boys and avoids getting into bidding wars with them. Economically this might make sense but ultimately they end up losing their man.

Even players such as Dzeko could have signed for the London club but Arsene has seemingly overlooked them all. United’s new wonderboy Martial was also linked but yet again a deal was never quite reached.

Potential Transfers

Jul 1, 2014; Salvador, BRAZIL; Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku (9) celebrates his goal in overtime against USA during the round of sixteen match in the 2014 World Cup at Arena Fonte Nova. Belgium defeated USA 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

So, Arsenal may have missed out on some strikers in the past but who can they look for in the future. The reality is that the footballing world is not blessed with many world-class striker at the moment so Arsene may need to find a gem within his academy. This would be a long term fix to their striking problems but a short term fix may cost some money. Players such as Cavani and Muller are always linked with moves away from their respective clubs but Wenger would have to spend a lot of money to acquire their services.

The one player who I would suggest is Lukaku. A monster of a man, quick, strong and so effective in front of goal. A player like this deserves to play in the Champions League and the player’s agent has started rumours of a potential move away from Goodison. Wenger would be mad not to at least inquire about the Belgian, who has the potential to shoot Arsenal to glory.

So much has been said regarding the transfer policy at Arsenal but it seems Arsene is standing strong. Spending big money does not necessarily lead to success but if Wenger used his plentiful budget smartly, Arsenal could begin to dominate the Premier League at least.

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