So we missed out on Gonzalo Higuain, again. Nobody can really say that they were surprised though can they? Arsène Wenger is more comparable to a tight Yorkshireman than to a man overseeing one of the elite clubs in Europe, with unwillingness to fork out large sums. To splash over £70 million on a single player would have been outrageous. In recent years, though, he has sanctioned a few moves in and around the £30-40 million mark, so would it be fair to expect him to look for a striker at this price?
Possibly, but then again, possibly not. The Frenchman has already made a big money move for Granit Xhaka this summer, and to go to those kinds of extremes for another player a few weeks later, well that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?
But we have to believe. We have to pray that the man who is entering the final year of his contract will finally do right by the fans. Xhaka could be an excellent acquisition, he could be the new Patrick Vieira, but he isn’t going to score many goals. And goals are what we need.
Looking at the bookies’ odds, 32Red.com have us priced at 13/2 to win the Premier League with two weeks to go until the new season. Manchester United are priced at 3/1 with 10bet, and Manchester City are 5/2 with 32Red. We finished above both of these teams last season, and the betting sites have clearly set these prices because of our lack of an out-and-out striker. So who could we sign now to cause them to slash these odds?
After having an official bid for the Lyon striker rejected last week, Sky Sports sources believe that club officials from Arsenal are about to put in an improved offer on the £30 million that was previously declined. Although the French club are insisting that Lacazette is not for sale, Unibet currently have the player at odds of 1/2 to make the switch to the Emirates, which is promising.
The 25-year-old has made 173 league appearances for Lyon and scored 72 goals, a ratio of a goal every 2.4 games. In comparison to Olivier Giroud, our current striker has played 157 league games and scored 57 goals, with a ratio of a goal every 2.7 games. These aren’t terrible figures from our present man up top, but there is the feeling that a pacey specialist striker (see video below) would give more of a cutting edge to our flowing system.
Last season this was supposed to be Theo Walcott, but the player who has predominantly been fielded as a winger throughout his career proved that he couldn’t spearhead the attack. Now there seems to be even greater uncertainty about the 27-year-old’s role in the team.
Lacazette could prove to be a serious upgrade on Walcott. The Lyon striker’s pace, skill, and ability to operate as a lone striker could be devastating in a setup that has Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil feeding him.
With reports suggesting that we are inching ever closer to finally securing a deal for a top striker, it would be a major disappointment if Lacazette wasn’t an Arsenal player when we face Liverpool in our first game of the season. However, there are other players that could fill the role, and if a deal isn’t made for the Frenchman this week, Wenger should quickly move his attention to other targets.
Bacca is one striker that could be clinical at the Emirates. The Colombian’s bulldog-like approach is reminiscent of Carlos Tevez and Luis Suarez, two strikers who used to ravage Premier League defenses. His skill, strength and ferociousness would be devastating in England’s top flight, which is why the player has attracted interest from a number of clubs over here already.
Wenger’s effort to sign Jamie Vardy at the beginning of the summer has filled us all with hope that he will finally bite the bullet and acquire a proven goal scorer. And by all accounts, it looks like he is making some real attempts to make something happen.
These are exciting times, as we may finally be getting a striker who can rival the best in the league.