It was a summer (mostly) to forget for Arsenal fans, losing last season’s key players yet again was a bitter pill to swallow, but as we look back on the drama that unfolded, you have to think we’re better off in the long run without the drama constantly surrounding the club. Now we’ve got a new look side that looks willing to work to the bone to get a result. Yes, we’ve had some minor problems this season, but our squad looks one of the strongest yet in the past five seasons.
Despite our squad looking better than ever, you still get the feeling we need one more striker to make up the numbers. Many point to Theo Walcott and Gervinho to fill in the centre should Olivier Giroud fall injured, but neither have proven themselves as of yet down the middle, and their change in position would mean leaving the wings short-staffed, unless youth players are called into the fold. Couple that with the fact that both Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh are going to play in the African Cup of Nations in January, and it leaves us with very few options up front for a month or so.
That said, Arsène shouldn’t panic and spend millions of pounds if he really doesn’t have to. The January transfer window is subject to inflation, due to the inconvenience of a transfer in the middle of the season. Any signings made are huge gambles, as players have no time to get accustomed to their new surroundings, but with a bit of luck, they can be the exact stimulus a team needs. This holds true with the Arsenal. We’ve been linked with Falcao, Huntelaar and Llorente recently, but how realistic are any of these signings? Radamel Falcao is a superstar at the moment, and as such will come with a hefty price tag probably in excess of £40m. Both Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Fernando Llorente are redundant in my eyes with Olivier Giroud and Marouane Chamakh in the squad, two target men. Aside from their hefty price tags, the aforementioned duo don’t offer anything we don’t already have. This begs the question though, who’s out there to sign?
1. Stevan Jovetic
I’ve brought out the best option right away. This is my third time mentioning him recently, so if you want to read more about him in detail, look no further. With murmurs of a 30 million Euro price tag, we have the money, but perhaps not the nerve to pull the trigger on a potentially record-breaking fee.
2. Fabrizio Miccoli
Miccoli often goes unnoticed in world football, but is a terrific striker all the same. At 33 years old, he may not be a spring chicken, but he’s got the experience and skill to back him up. He’s still got the pace, and the cool head to finish chances. In 5 starts and 2 substitute appearances, Miccoli has scored 3 goals and assisted once. In the twilight of his career, his price should be considerably lower than other names linked with the Arsenal, but he retains value based on skill and experience. Not a bargain basement signing by any means, but a shrewd one which could be the most sensible in the long run.
3. Seydou Doumbia
Not a hidden gem by any stretch, but off the radar from the top clubs for now Seydou Doumbia would be a great signing for Arsenal. A proper number 9, Doumbia blends physicality and blistering pace with quick feet and a calm demeanor. A clinical finisher, Doumbia has made a name for himself at CSKA Moskva, scoring 49 goals in 71 appearances. At just 24 with three years on his current contract remaining, Doumbia represents excellent value, with a rumoured valuation of just £16 million. Of course, given the timing of the window, his may be inflated, but £20-23 million for a young yet experienced striker isn’t bad business at all.
This isn’t a definitive list, just one that looks at some alternative targets to what the media keep spewing. Give me a shout in the comments below if there’s a player you feel I’ve missed!