None of the above? With Olivier Giroud showing signs of fatigue from leading the line week in and week out, starting in all 17 matches (Prem and UCL) and appearing in the one league cup match, not to mention France’s World Cup qualifiers, and if we’re to sustain any kind of form over the second half of the season, signing a striker will be vital. In years past, Arsène hasn’t done much business in the January window, with the exception of Nacho Monreal, whose signing was forced in part by Kieran Gibbs’s injury in January. However, having failed to sign any forwards of note this past summer has forced us to over-rely on Giroud, and we’ve been fortunate that he hasn’t yet been injured. Bendtner doesn’t inspire much confidence, and Yaya Sanogo, at 20 years old, has been injured for most of the season and has only played 10 minutes of Prem League football. Oh, and Park-Chu Young. Almost forgot. Silly me.
With little actual action to discuss, I’m taking a cue from Nick Halden, who suggested drawing up a post-Christmas wish-list, weighing who might be available and at what price. To wit, then, here are a few players in whom we’ve been interested along with my completely professional, never at all immature assessments:
- Luis Suarez
Benefits: scores prolifically, not cup-tied, plays for a league rival.
Drawbacks: bitey racist diver unlikely to last the full season, and will probably cost upwards of £50 million. And one.
Overall: it’s hard to ignore his scoring abilities, and there are plenty of people willing to overlook his sociopathic tendencies because of that scoring. However, there are those who generate personal stats and those who contribute to victory. Liverpool lost just once in the six matches they played while Suarez was banned—to in-form Southampton. Since his return, yes, he’s scored buckets of goals, but Liverpool’s record is actually spottier. There’s no shame in losing at Old Trafford (I hope) or the Emirates, of course, but it doesn’t seem like Suarez is as incisive or creative as needed when the pressure’s on.
Verdict: Nope. Not for me.
- Karim Benzema
Benefits: French. Capable of scoring when he’s in the mood.
Drawbacks: French. A little bit rape-y. Allegedly. Seems to pay for haircuts on some kind of installment plan. Cup-tied.
Overall: I really don’t see Real Madrid selling anyone to us again for a while, not after the way Florentino Perez was mocked and how he acted after the Özil transfer. What’s more, Benzema has had to defend a poor run of form that saw him go goal-less across seven matches for Madrid and get pipped by Giroud for France’s national team. The possible frisson between them should Benzema join Arsenal to again be Giroud’s understudy could lead to some fisticuffs. His underwhelming performance of late might make him available for something more like £30-40m.
Verdict: I just don’t get excited about this one, whether it’s the looming rape trial, his lazinesss, or his uneven performance. Let’s just stay away from this one.
- Robert Lewandowski
Benefits: Arguably among the world’s most-coveted forwards, scores a lot, seems like a nice-enough guy, could be available for £40-50 million.
Drawbacks: Cup-tied, plays for a club contending for the Bundesliga title, has said that he only wants to go to Bayern.
Overall: it’s hard to see Dortmund parting with him mid-season, although they may have to because his contract ends in June 2014, and getting him out of the Bundesliga rather than letting Bayern nab him might be their only option. Could our other Poles in the squad (Szczesny and Fabianski…and let’s thrown in Podolski for good measure) convince Lewa to switch? He can’t help us in the Champions League, at least directly, but he could certainly take over for Prem and FA Cup matches, allowing Giroud to rest up for those CL matches.
Verdict: it’s probably the least likely move to pull off. In fact, I don’t think Arsène has the cojones to pull it off, nor do I believe Gazidis would be willing to spend what it would take to get him. I just read Wikipedia’s entry on something called reverse psychology, by the way.
- Christian Benteke
Benefits: Among the less-expensive options (£30m?). Not cup-tied. Claims to love Arsenal.
Drawbacks: Young and unproven with only one full season of top-flight experience. Inability to distinguish between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
Overall: This could be an interesting move, given his youth. At 22, he certainly has room to build on last year’s impressive display (19 goals in 34 matches). He’s huge and great in the air and would present a great target for set-pieces and crosses. He may lack some of the technical skill, work-rate, or ability to contribute to the build-up that Giroud brings, but his more direct approach might be a valuable change of pace. Aston Villa put a £30m price-tag on him this summer, which was apparently too high for our likings at the time.
Verdict: I like this move even if it’s based more on future potential than on track record. He’s shown how dangerous he can be, although he has gone pretty quiet since netting those two spot-kicks against us.
- Edin Dzeko
Benefits: a super-sub, plays for an in-league rival, a relative bargain (£20-30m)…
Drawbacks: doesn’t contribute much on defense. Cup-tied.
Overall: He must be getting frustrated at having fallen further down the pecking order at Man City despite the departures of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. Sergio Aguero’s recent form and the arrivals of Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic have kept him on the bench just as often as he’s started. Making a switch would almost certainly give him more opportunities to play, and any increase in playing time would certainly be a welcome change, especially as he looks to impress during Bosnia-Herzegovina’s run to the World Cup. Man City’s struggles on the road suggest that they might be looking to shake up the squad a bit.
Verdict: I like this one. Maybe more than a move for Benteke. Maybe.
January is a long ways away, and there are plenty of matches to be played. We’re in good position to advance from the Champions League group stage, and the FA Cup will be added to the mix in January, so reinforcements, whoever he (or they) turn out to be, would bolster our prospects in the second half of the season. Taking care of business between now and then—advancing to the knock-out stage, continuing to challenge for the Prem title—would make a move to Arsenal all the more enticing. Who, then, should be atop the list?
1 and three
woof. that's some big spending! maybe 100m. Go big or go home, eh?
Suarez. Wenger can manage him. I think liverpool are going to fade. he might be a complete twat but he can create chances for himself. the summer nonsense was crazy but that's in the past, he'll be ready for Champions league football in January, so get him!
I am not sure if we should add more of Giroud type players (physical, focal point, good in air more like english CF). I am hoping Arsenal will go for a player who is a good finisher, can dribble past players and and maybe be able to play as a second striker. So for me Lewy, benteke and dzeko are probably not the options. I am looking for more of a Suarez kind of player(with less to no biting). Also suarez has been doing well recently, apart from his goal scoring he has been behaving more professionally on field. I would love to see suarez play for us, but iam not totally convinced with Benzema. He is good but to be in PL, lazyness doesn't really help for a striker. Also I don't really care about diving once or twice in a while or so, but if the players game is dependent on diving then he better not even breath a molecule of air coming out of Emirates.
tough call, isn't it? A direct replacement, one who is similar to Giroud might bed in more smoothly but also limit our options. Having a pacier dribbler would give us a change of pace and tactical variety but would also force others to adapt a bit. Hardly a boy scout, but he might be interested…
I see ur point and kind of agree to it, but on the other hand if you consider our midfield, It is full of pace and technically and tactically very balanced. We have Cazorla and ozil, att-mids with good pace and an experience of working with pacey forwards. On the wings we have definitely some of the fastest players of football. And in the center mid position we have jack and ramsay who are also quick. So transition may not be a bigger deal. But an introduction of a pacey forward will definitely affect(in terms of holding the ball, and going alone if not many options are available), just hope that it will be for the good. But i hope you see what I am trying to say, every top team has forwards who are poachers, creators and finally ultimatums(who create their own goals). Giroud for me is more of a poacher with good awareness of team mates around him, hence the assists he has been getting this season. But I would love to see a player who can dribble past his way through the wall and score, some one of the caliber of Henry, who could single-handedly take ball from half line to a goal.
Also on the other hand I feel that we should get LLoronte for cheap and hope that Mr.Wenger uses Theo or Poldi in a more advanced role, rather than a winger. We have enough players to play on wings and using either Walcott or Poldi upfront can change the dynamics of our game completely. But such chance should be taken with a team which is not much physical and when we purely play ball on the ground. Also this will be a threatening counter attacking force. Also I hope theo puts on some muscle, that will definitely change his game for the better.
Suarez for me…anytime.
we could have had Llorente or Ba for pennies on the dollar but you get what you pay for (most of the time, anyway). I do think we should go for someone who can go at defenses with the ball at his feet. there are times when I'd like to see us go with more of a false nine whose dribble can get him into position to score. The closest we have to that is Cazorla. I don't know if Atletico's Diego Costa has the quality we seek but he's putting up some guady stats.
if i was arsene i can bring good strikers this team, just check what i am thinking about:SUAREZ : he is the type player that i like and i hate when we are playing against him the most hated one coz he can damage us every minute…but as i bleave we can't get him january so NEXT……>ROBERT. L. as i bleave we adapted the way we are playing one big holding CF and world class players around him so lewandowisk can replace giroud and all you are aware what he can…but we can get him if we try ….robert has a lot of friends in our team and he nows if he come to as he can be more then what he is now…he likes our king henry and he is fun of him …but he is humen…. so he needs some….so give him around 10 million only for signing and then you can get him cheeply around 10 or 15 million coz he is free next transfer so they need the money and they can get his replacement MARCO REUSE : Also i like this guy he is young dripler passer shooter, set pace taker can play wide behind the striker and striker and his contruct close is only 35 and be know his dream and legend player is THOMAS ROSICKY so we can get him alsoand dont for get in the past sumer we were looking for a wide player like Julian Draxler so he is better and more experianced then him so go both robert and marco reus and give them luckas podlisk + money
its a world cup year, so the best bet would probably be whoever is going to the world cup and is still on the bench. or a player who isn't going to the world cup. cant see suarez, benzema or beneteke wanting to gamble on irregular match time at arsenal. lewadowski is going to bayern; if dortmund wanted to sell him they would have sold him in the summer. which leaves dzeko and llorente on your list; i would suggest man city wouldn't want to sell dzeko to the league leaders.i think llorente is the best bet – on the bench at juve, wanting game time to force his way into spain's world cup team. and juve may want to cash up on this lad since they got him on a free. but i think wenger may try something unorthodox like start playing a false nine. or he may start giving chances to young Sanogo and Chuba the Hutt.
I agree with the false 9 approach but in epl unless you have a physically sound midfield false 9 will be taking a big chance. Also I agree that Santi is the only player we have close to being a false 9. I consider ozil as latter part of Begkamp, when he was more into creating than scoring. Others may see ramsay as false 9 because of his recent scoring but he is a good distributor of ball and center mid is his best position, what he has is good positioning inside the box(which he always had) and recently he developed his shooting skills too. l always thought that strength and pace was the essence of epl. But it has changed over past few seasons, Teams started bringing in more technical players(not much strength oriented but fast and creative). But still sticking to the strength part. Apart from flamini I dont see anyone who use their strength to snatch ball from others. Again I would love to see arsene use as many tactics as he can in fa cup to figure out the best way against different types of teams. I for one don't believe that there is only one way going forward. Also with the present team condition we should not be sticking to one model as that will drain players and another problem will be that restricts them from exploring their abilities more or trying new things.