Tuesday, 7 June 2011

10 Strikers Arsenal Could Possibly Sign This Summer.

Arsenal have one of the very best strikers in the world in their team at the moment, but unfortunately Robin Van Persie is also very injury prone too. If RVP could manage to play for a whole season he would probably be the top scorer in the Premier League, but he has never managed it so far in his Arsenal career. With that in mind Arsenal need to buy a top class striker to replace him, or at least cover for him when he cannot play.

The current replacements in the Arsenal squad have had chances at various stages, and have impressed to varying degrees. Marouane Chamakh played the role for most of the first half of last season, and he was very impressive as Arsenal kept up their challenge in four competitions. However, once RVP returned to the team Chamakh's performances were far from impressive, as he claimed to be suffering from fatigue.

Nicklas Bendtner has been a player who has confused Arsenal fans throughout his career there so far. He can be awkward on the ball and wasteful in front of goal, but on his day he can also look very good. However, Bendtner has stated his desire to leave Arsenal this summer, as he feels he needs to play first team football.

Carlos Vela has never really got the chances in the Arsenal first team that other players have got, but Arsene Wenger says he will be staying at the club next season. He is a player with loads of potential, but if he doesn't get to play it's difficult to see him realising that potential. He had a chance to impress when he was loaned to West Bromwich Albion last season, but he was rarely picked and it did little to improve his chances at Arsenal.

I'll attempt to run through 10 strikers Arsenal might possibly sign this summer, and judge what their effect on the team might be.

Peter Odemwingie:
Peter Odemwingie had a very successful season with West Brom, but he's already 30 years old and Wenger is not particularly fond of signing players in the later stages of their careers. He scored 15 Premier League goals with WBA last season, and his form was particularly good after the turn of the year. If Arsenal are to make a bid for Odemwingie they will of course consider his age, but also his Premier League experience.

Wenger is not fond of spending large amounts on individual players, and Odemwingie could possibly be available for a fee which might suit him. If he is happy to play second fiddle to RVP he could be exactly the type of signing suited to Arsenal, as Wenger would not have to adapt his style of play to suit him. I don't think he is good enough to be Arsenal's first choice striker, but he looks more than capable of playing in cup games and filling in for others on certain occasions.

Chances of Arsenal signing Odemwingie - 5/10

Didier Drogba:
If reports are to believed Chelsea are looking to offload Didier Drogba this summer, and he is a striker with real Premier League pedigree. He is 33 years old though, and his wages are far above the limit which Arsenal are prepared to pay. During his years at Chelsea Drogba has won plenty of trophies, and his winning mentality could be a huge boost to Arsenal.

If Arsenal were to consider buying Drogba they would have to accommodate him in the team, and that would probably mean a change of formation. The only way I can see Arsenal changing their formation is if Cesc Fabregas is sold, and at the moment the club claim that will not happen. Drogba had a poor season by his own standards last season, and it looks like he might well be on the decline, but his aerial ability would add something to the Arsenal team which they are missing at the moment.

I don't think Arsenal will be in the market for Drogba, but they could do a lot worse than signing him in my opinion. There is no doubting his Premier League pedigree, and he has always been very fond of scoring against Arsenal too.

Chances of Arsenal signing Drogba - 1/10

Karim Benzema:
Karim Benzema found himself a bit part player for Real Madrid last season as they failed in their attempts to overhaul Barcelona as the best club in Spain and Europe. There are rumours of his possible departure from the club, and he fits the bill for a Wenger signing. He's still relatively young at 23, and he has had a move to a big club which hasn't quite worked out as he had hoped.

In the past Wenger resurrected the careers of both Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry from similar situations, and it would be no surprise if he did the same with Benzema. However, Real Madrid would probably want far too much money for him in Wenger's opinion, and that will be the biggest stumbling block in my opinion. If he was bought he is another player who would have to be included in the team, and again it would mean a change of formation for Arsenal.

Like Drogba I can only see Benzema arriving if Cesc is sold, and I don't think that will happen this summer. He would certainly bring an awful lot to the Arsenal team, but the fee and his wages would be prohibitive too.

Chances of Arsenal signing Benzema - 1/10

Falcao has had an excellent scoring record over the past two seasons with Porto, and he looks like he has an awful lot to offer any club he might join. His goals helped them to sweep the board in Portugal last season, as well as winning the Europa League, and his fee is bound to reflect how well he has played for them. At 25 years of age he is approaching his prime, and he would be an excellent signing in my opinion.

He would not be content with a place on the bench I would imagine, and it might mean RVP dropping back to play behind him. That would only be possible if Cesc is sold, and I have already said I don't see that happening this summer. I would like to see Arsenal sign Falcao anyway, and let him and RVP either fight for the strikers role or rotate it, but I can't see that happening.

Like so many other strikers his fee could be the biggest stumbling block to him joining Arsenal. Porto always need to sell players to keep their heads above water, but they develop them so well that they can command excellent prices for them.

Chances of Arsenal signing Falcao - 3/10

Like Falcao he has had a very good season with Porto, as they have been by far the best team in Portugal. He scored almost as many goals as Falcao last season, but his goalscoring record wasn't quite so impressive in previous seasons. He's only 24 years old, and he still has a couple of years before he reaches his prime.

His name suggests his stature, and he is certainly a big and strong player who also has plenty of ability on the ball. He would probably be available at a lower price than Falcao, and he might also be more likely to await his chance if he was to join Arsenal. If Arsenal are to sign a striker from Porto I would like it to be Falcao, but knowing Arsenal it will probably be Hulk.

Chances of Arsenal signing Hulk - 3/10

David Villa:
David Villa is currently the centre forward for Barcelona, and they are the best football team in the world. They are looking to add Guisseppe Rossi to their squad this summer, and if he is signed it could signal less playing time for Villa. Barcelona's desire to sign Cesc is well known, and if they are to be successful they might have to offer Arsenal another player in part exchange.

If Arsenal have no choice about selling Cesc at least they should try to bargain with Barcelona to get Villa. At 29 he is at the peak of his career, but there would be very little resale value for him in a couple of years for Barcelona. Whether Villa would be prepared to leave Barcelona or not is another question, but at least an attempt to sign him might show some real ambition from Arsenal.

I can't imagine that Villa would want to leave Barcelona, but if they decide to offer him in part exchange for Cesc that might change. He would be an ideal signing for Arsenal in my opinion, and he would score a lot of goals in the Premier League. I can't see the move happening, but it doesn't stop me wanting it to happen.

Chances of Arsenal signing Villa - 1/10

Guisseppe Rossi:
Guiseppe Rossi has had a very good season for Villarreal and it looks like Barcelona are very interested in signing the former Manchester United player. He is only 24 years old and he has become a better player with each passing season so far. He is a very good goalscorer, but he is not just a goalscorer as he has so much else to his game too.

If Barcelona are interested in signing him I would imagine he would be equally interested in joining them, but Arsenal could do a lot worse than make a bid for him. If Arsenal are to start winning trophies again they need to sign top class players, and Rossi fits that bill in my opinion. I'm sure Arsenal can afford his transfer fee and his wages too, and the addition of Rossi to their squad would signal real intent on their part.

The chances are that Rossi will join Barcelona, but the least Arsenal can do is make a bid and see what happens from there. Barcelona have had their financial problems in recent seasons, and Arsenal can at least make them pay the going rate by putting in a counter bid.

Chances of Arsenal signing Rossi - 2/10

Dimitar Berbatov:
Berbatov had a very strange season for Manchester United, as he was the joint top scorer in the Premier League but he was very much out of favour in the later stages. He didn't even make the squad for United's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, and there are rumours of discontent for the player as a result. At 30 years of age I'm sure he would prefer to be playing more often, but his opportunities at United would seem to be limited following the emergence of Javier Hernandez.

If Berbatov chooses to leave United he could be a possible target for Arsenal, but his age and his current wages would be real obstacles. On his day Berbatov can be a very good player, but he has a reputation for being lazy at times. If Arsenal were to sign him there is no guarantee of him commanding a first team place, and I can't imagine he would want to join another club to sit on the bench again.

I don't think Wenger will be particularly interested in signing Berbatov, but stranger things have happened. There is a strong possibility that he will be available, and Arsenal need to sign another striker. How the fans might react to an ex Tottenham Hotspur player signing is another matter, but if he joined and did the business they would soon forget his past.

Chances of Arsenal signing Berbatov - 2/10

Carlos Tevez:
If the rumours are to be believed Tevez has stated his desire never to play for Manchester City again, and that would hardly make City happy. He was their star player and captain last season, and he was the joint highest scorer in the Premier League along with Berbatov. He is a very good player who knows how to score goals, and an excellent free taker also.

He would suit Arsenal's style of play, but if City have to sell him I doubt if Arsenal can afford either the fee or his wages. City are paying their players so much money that very few teams can come anywhere near matching their wages, but sometimes players want something else. I'm not exactly sure why Tevez wants to leave, but City will do all they can to keep him I'm sure, and Arsenal would be very lucky to have any chance of signing him.

Chances of Arsenal signing Tevez - 1/10

Moussa Sow:
Moussa Sow was probably  the most impressive player for Lille last season, as they won the French league. Arsenal have been linked with various other Lille players, but they would do well to focus their attention on the top scorer in France last season. He may well have had only one productive season in his career so far, but he showed enough to indicate that he has what it takes to be a top class player.

At 25 years of age he is an ideal age for Arsenal to sign, as he hasn't reached his peak yet. He would probably be willing to await his chance, and fill in for RVP when he is injured or rested. The chances are that Sow would also be available for a fee which Arsenal can afford, and on wages which are affordable too.

He would be a typical Wenger signing, as he plays in France and he is a relative unknown despite his recent success.

Chances of Arsenal signing Sow - 4/10

In my opinion Arsenal need to add a striker to their squad, and I would hope for a top class striker to come in. The chances are that Nicklas Bendtner will no longer be at the club next season, and both Marouane Chamakh and Carlos Vela have yet to prove themselves in my opinion. If a top class striker could be added to the current squad it could take some of the pressure off Robin Van Persie, and possibly he could be used more sparingly next season.

Arsenal scored plenty of goals last season, but they were found wanting in front of goal far too often also. It's never easy to find a player who will be willing to wait for his turn to get into the team, but if Wenger can find the right man it could make all the difference next season.

That's it for today, and hopefully you found my analysis on some potential targets interesting.

See you tomorrow.

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