The Five Strikers that Arsene Wenger Seriously Needs to Look at Signing

Romelu Lukaku has 18 goals and 6 assists in the league this season (image source: www.theguardian.com/uk)

Arsenal have some exceptional players. It’s those players that led them to second place in this year’s domestic season. Yet since Robin Van Persie left the club, Arsenal have struggled to find an out-and-out striker who bags 20+ goals a season.

So why amongst all the rumours and done deals are the North London club only linked with midfielders? Xhaka will be exciting no doubt, the thought of him in a midfield presence with Özil and potentially Kanté too, would be quality. This said they need a frontman of the same grain to make the goals for. In a recent online poll, 78% of Arsenal fans stated they didn’t think Olivier Giroud should be the first team striker. Who should be then?

Gonzalo Higuaín

The twenty-eight-year-old Argentine had previously been on the fringe of Real Madrid before joining Napoli back in 2013. It was with the Ciucciarelli that he found a home. He made an instant integration into the first team squad; scoring 15+ goals in both his first and second season with the Napoli. It is, however, this season just gone which re-defined Higuaín to the football world, by breaking the top goal scorer record in Serie A. On the last of the season he required three goals to do it, and did so with a stunning hat trick. This allowed him to end the season with the record thirty-six goals. Despite lifting no silverware this accolade is enough to spur interest in the French-born Argentine’s services. Wenger could do no wrong spending a large portion of the reported £100m+ Arsenal has been paid by the Premier League on Higuaín. After all, he’s outscored Giroud in every season for the last five years.

Gonzalo Higuaín with Napoli. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Gonzalo would play as the out-and-out striker Arsenal has missed. He may have had ‘attitude’ problems in the past, but that’s exactly what the Gunners need right now. Raw passion, it’s okay to play with plenty of flair and skill, but with no gritty determination, Arsenal’s style of play becomes very predictable. Higuaín would offer the goals sorely needed (just imagine him and Mesut) and the temperament that Arsenal needs to move forward. Arsenal would give Higuaín the opportunity to get back to the elite level of football; it’s with no disrespect to Napoli – but their success with silverware may be more of long-term project. Switching to the Gunners may give a better chance to win silverware.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Here’s another French-born striker for Wenger to muse over.  Pierre currently plays in neon yellow, for the world-famous Borussia Dortmund. Whilst eligible for France’s national team by birth, he opted to play for Gabon. His performances for the German club side this term have given him plenty of plaudits for his constant contributions in front of goal. He’s been the shining star of Dortmund for some time now; being named African footballer of the year, appointed into the Bundesliga team of the season and named in UEFA Europa League team of the season all in the last two seasons. These individual accolades are great but haven’t earnt him major trophies or titles.

Aubameyang warming up for a game for Dortmund. Photo: Wikipedia.

This move would provide a lot of benefits for both the player and the club. Aubameyang would provide the goals and speed that Arsenal needs. The club would be able to provide the striker with a better chance to win silverware, what with the Bundesliga being a one-horse race these days. The appointment of Pierre-Emerick would also alleviate the need of other similar, but not as good players. i.e. Walcott. He’s lightning fast but so is Aubameyang and the important difference, the latter scores goals. Out of the all the suggested transfers in the list, Aubameyang is probably the “best fit” for Arsenal in their current vein of play. A fast and technical player; the thought of him being able to link up with Alexis and Özil is just mouth-watering.

Islam Slimani

There’s a lot of talk about the current Sporting CP striker in the British media at present, one story which you can probably disregard. Currently linked with Arsenal, Leicester City, and Tottenham Hotspur the striker is held in high regard and wanted by the top three clubs in England. It’s easy to see why when you look at his numbers for the season too, twenty-seven goals in thirty-three games in the Primeira Liga this season. Islam also backs up his performances at international level with Algeria, currently capped by his country forty-three times, he’s found the back of the net an impressive twenty-three times whilst in his national colours. These goals have led him his team to two major domestic titles in the last year. Whilst the Premier League would be a much harder challenge for him, he would definitely benefit from higher calibre colleagues.

Islam Slimani with Algeria. Photo: Wikipedia.

A move to Arsenal for the Algerian international would heighten his own name, and at the age of twenty-seven, he might not get many more chances to play at this level of football. Slimani would also benefit from the riches of world-class colleagues; creating more opportunities for him to find the back of the net. Arsenal would reap the rewards of bringing in a proven striker who would be able to provide an almost instantaneous goal threat. (Although Arsenal fans know too well about trying to introduce players who’ve enjoyed success at lower European leagues, it doesn’t always pan out).

Romelu Lukaku

The big-Belgian’s masquerade show has seemingly ended. He alone is no longer able to make Everton look like a club that play good football. Lukaku has been their top goal scorer for the last three seasons, but the Toffees have only finished in the top half of the table once in that time. Lukaku has managed to score lots of goals himself but rest of the team let him down. Notable examples of this season: 3-2 losses to Leicester City and West Ham United. Oh and don’t forget the 4-3 loss to Stoke City. All of which Lukaku got on the scoresheet, but those around him disintegrated. Romelu’s quality is undisputed but it’s arguable if he’ll never receive the plaudits and championships he deserves whilst at Everton.

Lukaku celebrating during a Europa League game. Photo: Wikipedia.

This transfer is arguably the best and safest for Arsenal. Unlike the other players suggested in this article, Lukaku, has already proved that he can play and score in the Premier League. When signing players from other leagues, there is always the stigma and fear that they may not adapt to the style/speed of the Premier League. In addition to that security, he’d bolster a towering presence in front of goal, adding a physical dimension to Arsenal’s game which has been missing since the days of Vieira. (Frimpong, for his efforts intended to be a physical force but that didn’t really work out.).

Lukaku would see almost no end of benefits with a move to the Emirates. Primarily, Champions League football.  This transfer would also give the Belgian a higher calibre set of colleagues, thusly a much-improved chance of winning silverware.

Paulo Dybala

In round trip fashion; we end up back at Serie A. The young Argentine is nicknamed La Joya (Spanish for Jewel), for his attractive and creative play. Whilst only joining Juventus at the start of the 15/16 season Dybala had a stellar season with the Turin club as they won the league title. He may have already cemented his place in the Zebre folklore by winning the league and being the club’s top goal scorer all in his debut season for the club. He may have been tipped for success in the future by pundits, but he’s showing that he achieve great things now. It’s that success which will attract other top European clubs for his services. Although according to some sources Juventus have already rejected offers.

Dybala would offer Arsenal an overall great attacking player able to play in most offensive positions. Arsenal suffers too much from a rigid formation, where the players feel lost if they aren’t covering the same blades of grass every week. Dybala is a flexible player and only at the age of twenty-two can further his game with the North London club. Coming from an already elite club in Europe, there’s little Arsenal can give Paulo that he doesn’t already have at Juventus. Well, except maybe the grandeur of playing in the most popular league in the world. He’d probably have the opportunity to score more goals in the England too, what with Italy’s notoriety for defensive football. Could you imagine Dybala facing the defences of Burnley, Middlesbrough and Sunderland next season? He’d have a field day in the Premier League.

It’s with these recommendations that every Arsenal fans plead Arsene Wenger to buy a quality forward. Whilst Xhaka looks very good, he’s a good attacking midfielder to add to our collection of such players. Giroud is a decent striker in fits and starts, but hasn’t been able to replicate the success he had in France. It’s now time that Arsenal lined up with a world-class attack. One or more of these players would go a long way to securing that.

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