Arsenal need a new striker to pair with Olivier Giroud, and rumors are afoot. SmashReport analyses the top 5 likely candidates to become the newest forward at the Emirates.
The transfer window is always a point of speculation for any Arsenal fan, and the number of players Arsenal are linked with borders on the absurd at times. This very summer, Arsenal were linked with nearly 150 players, a mind boggling number for any club. However, Arsenal’s squad is anything but frail at the moment, and their main problem lies in the fact that the squad is thin. The probable areas for improvement have already been identified, and Arsene Wenger has shown he is willing to loosen his purse strings for the right players. We pick out 5 players who are the likeliest to make the move to North London and ply their trade with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil. Playing with midfielders of that caliber is a mouth-watering opportunity for any forward, and it might prove to be the decisive factor for the transfer of any one of the following.
1) Luis Suarez
Arsenal’s links with the Uruguayan striker started this summer, with Arsene Wenger making two bids for him. Both were rejected by Liverpool, who elected to keep the problematic forward at Anfield. Their patience has been rewarded, as Suarez has roared back into the league following his 10-game ban, scoring goals in back-to-back games. However, the possibility of his move still remains open, with both Arsenal and Real Madrid said to be interested in the forward. Liverpool rate Suarez at 50 million, and Arsene’s 40 million bid last time round just fell short of the mark. However, following the signing of Mesut Ozil, Arsenal fans have been encouraged by the idea of the Professor being willing to spend, and a third bid for the striker may not be too shocking just yet. Liverpool will be just as unwilling as ever to let go of Suarez, but a high bid might just make them rethink their position.
Probability of transfer: 6/10
2) Karim Benzema: The Real Madrid frontman has had an out-of-sorts start to the season, scoring little and looking faded throughout. He also went through a 15-match goal drought for the national team, one which he only recently broke in the friendly against Australia. According to reports, Real Madrid have offered the forward to Arsenal for the cut price of 20 million, as they look to pursue and bring Luis Suarez to the Bernabeu. While Benzema in his prime would be a quality addition to the squad, his low confidence levels and depleted skill set may drive off potential suitors. However, it is worth pointing out that if someone can bring Benzema back to his old self, it will be Wenger. Karim has the quality to be good in the EPL, but where he ends up is a question that is up in the air for January. It will be a desperate transfer wrangle between Real, Arsenal and Liverpool as they look to buy or keep hold of their respective talents.
Probability of transfer: 5/10
3) Marco Reus
The prodigal German International was the subject of a failed bid two seasons ago. Arsene has definitely not forgotten the talent of the youngster, who has established himself as one of the foremost wingers/strikers in European football. Following the departure of Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich, Reus has stepped up at Borussia Dortmund and kept his reputation up following sparkling showings in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League. In the summer, it was speculated that Arsenal might bid for the forward, but nothing came out of it and the rumor fizzled out. However, the media has started linking him again with the North London outfit. Reus has stated his idol to be Tomas Rosicky, current Arsenal midfielder, and the opportunity to play with him might prove tempting. It should however be stated that this is the least likely out of all 5 possibilities, given Reus’ dedication towards the club as well as the number of years remaining on his current contract.
Probability of Transfer: 4/10
4) Robert Lewandowski
This is a transfer that would bring any Arsenal fan to their feet. Robert Lewandowski’s desire to leave Borussia Dortmund has been present for a while, due to which he did not sign a contract extension with the club. He is currently in the last year of his contract, and will be available on a free transfer next season. Dortmund refused to allow Lewandowski to follow Mario Gotze to Munich, and kept the forward, risking losing him for nothing next summer. However, they might decide to cash in on what they can in January, with several clubs interested. It was originally believed that the Polish International had his heart set on a move to Bayern, but he has recently fuelled speculation by claiming that he dreams of one day playing in the EPL. Arsenal would be able to land him relatively cheaply, given that he is free to sign a pre-contract in January. Dortmund would also be more willing to lose the prodigal forward to an overseas club rather than their direct rival. Lewandowski is one of the most complete strikers in Europe, and moving to Arsenal would guarantee both him and the club silverware for years to come.
Probability of transfer: 7/10
5) Konstantinos Mitroglou
This is a name that very few Gooners will be able to identify. Mitroglou is a 25-year old striker who plays for Greek side Olympiacos, and the Greek National Team. Mitroglou is one of the most underrated forwards in Europe, largely due to his presence in Greece, whose league is not one of the best. However, he has proven his worth on more than one occasion, most recently by scoring a hat-trick in the Champions League against Anderlecht. While this might not be the star signing many fans still desire despite the arrival of Mesut Ozil, he would be far more willing to serve as backup striker to Olivier Giroud, who has been in fine nick this season for both club and country. Mitroglou would also be a perfect Wenger signing, unknown and unheard of, but molded into one of the best.
Probability of Transfer: 8/10
Arsenal are in the market for a striker, one who will be able to provide direct competition to present frontman, Olivier Giroud, as well as give them options for rotating the squad. At present, the squad is entirely dependent on Giroud staying injury-free and keeping up his good form. However, being dependent on one player is never good, and the Professor will want to remedy this as soon as he possibly can.
Do you think Arsenal should be chasing some other striker? Share your views and let us know in the comments section below.