By Tony Attwood
Five strikers to solve Arsenal’s supposed problems.
As you may know, if you have followed Untold through our difficult times of late, I’m not at all convinced we need another striker. But the fact is that we did make a title charge, once the focus of a flurry of online betting at completebetting.com and other bookmakers, but it didn’t come to pass, although out of course we kept going in the cup.
So inevitably there has been all the regular debate about the need to score goals. As the statistics show, Giroud has scored as many in his second season as Henry did in his second season, and if you look back at the press reports of Henry in season II there was no big feeling that this was a guy who was about to become the all-time hero.
I’ve also argued that the supply of the ball to the forwards is vital, that the return of Mesut Ozil is vital, that Ramsey was our leading scorer until the injury, that Theo and Pod can do their bit, and Sanogo is one for the future.
But of course such positive thoughts fall on deaf ears.
So just in case you are interested, here are five strikers who could solve the Arsenal “attacking dilemma” if such a thing actually exists, courtesy of Marcus Banks.
MARIO MANDZUKIC: BAYERN MUNICH: CROATIA
The impending arrival of Robert Lewandowski has raised questions marks over the future of Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic. With the Borussia Dortmund man seemingly the most likely to start at the Allianz Arena, Mandzukic’s playing time will decrease despite a good season for Bayern.
Despite the arrival of another striker, Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer says it doesn’t mean the Croatian will be sold. However, Mandzukic could be tempted by the offer of first team football at the Emirates.
The former Wolfsburg striker would add work rate, power and determination to the Arsenal attack. He is strong in the air and would be a handful for any Premier League defender. With Ozil and Santi Cazorla behind him, Mandzukic could thrive in England and Arsenal could thrive with him in the league.
One old rumour was that Arsenal were lining up a move for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa but another says the striker has virtually sealed a move to Chelsea Oilmen This leaves Mandzukic as a handy alternative.
JACKSON MARTINEZ – PORTO
Another target is said to be Jackson Martinez. The Colombian has gained an impressive reputation in Portugal after filling the oversized shoes left behind by Radamel Falcao at Porto. He’s 27, scored 18 goals in 27 appearances in the Liga Portuguesa this season and got two in the Champions League.
Martinez is a lethal finisher and could easily be partnered with Giroud to create an attacking duo. Martinez has also revealed he was an avid Arsenal fan as a child and expressed a desire to play for us.
His sale would follow the trend of recent years where Portuguese clubs have sold their star players for huge transfer fees; Joao Moutinho, Hulk, James Rodriguez and Falcao to name a few. It is reported Porto would want £30m. Who knows.
JAY RODRIGUEZ: SOUTHAMPTON – ENGLAND
Arsenal are also said to be “monitoring” the recovery of Jay Rodriguez after a knee injury ruled the Southampton striker out of the World Cup. Rodriguez had been in fine form and was in line for a World Cup place before the injury.
Rodriguez is a versatile forward who can operate right across the forward line. The 24 year old was reportedly targeted by both Liverpool and Tottenham before his injury but a move could still be on the cards for the former Burnley man.
The striker did well under Mauricio Pochettino this season with 15 Premier League goals to his name; joint fifth highest in the league along with Sergio Aguero and Rooney. Southampton seem adamant they will not sell their prized assets unless they receive a huge transfer fee – but that is the normal chatter at this stage.
LOIC REMY. NEWCASTLE UNITED (ON LOAN FROM QPR). FRANCE
Loic Remy provides an option for Arsenal at a relatively cheap price. Remy has proven he can rough it and has scored 13 goals in an average squad.
The on loan striker is going to leave Arry’s Gang whose dog Rosie said, “Remy wants to play Champions League football next season, so they tell me. The chances of us keeping him are not great if he’s got a buy-out clause.” (You might think that Arry would know, but maybe the owners don’t trust him with data).
The buy-out clause stands at around £15m which a cheaper option compared to other strikers on the market. Remy possesses pace, technical ability and is strong on the ball.
The former Marseilles man is keen on a move to the Emirates according to a source close to the forward. He has attracted interest from Tottenham, but then so has everyone, but will snub a move to the Lilywhites in favour of Arsenal as he is a big fan of Thierry Henry of whom you may have heard.
RODRIGO Benfica SPAIN
It is said (as it is always “said”) that Arsene Wenger is a fan of the Benfica striker who would fit right in with the Arsenal ethos. “Intelligent on the ball, quick and clever”, it is said, making him the perfect fit for Wenger.
Cousin to Thiago and Rafinha Alcantara, Rodrigo has been attracting attention from all over Europe plus in Liverpool, Manchester United and at Inter Milan. The 23 year old has netted 11 league goals under Jorge Jesus this season.
His national team-mate Alvaro Morata has also been mentioned as a possible target but some say Rodrigo is the better option to bolster our attacking line. He is lethal feeding off through balls, making clever passes and a quality dribbler.
Benfica have inevitably “slapped” (why are they always “slapped”?) a £28m price tag on their striker, a fee which Wenger is reportedly willing to meet. This huge transfer fee could be a massive gamble with Rodrigo only getting one league goal during his loan spell with Bolton. On the other hand, it could prove to be a stellar signing, one that significantly boosts our scoring ability.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal