SIX last-minute striker deals to appease Arsenal fans

Arsene Wenger’s nonchalance towards signing a replacement for injured forward Olivier Giroud was met by a raucous response from the Arsenal faithful yesterday afternoon.

As the Gunners succumbed to a 1-1 draw at the hands of Leicester City, the simple-yet-definitive chant of “Sign an effing striker” was heard from the away end at the Walkers Stadium.

Indeed, if the Emirates boss is to take his club’s Premier League title ambitions seriously this season, finding a quality front-man before the end of deadline day is a must.

We know the north Londoners have already lost out on rumoured target Radamel Falcao to Manchester United, but here’s a list of SIX last-minute strikers Arsenal could still get their hands on.

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CARLOS BACCA

Carlos Bacca
One Colombian front-man still available to Arsenal this deadline day is Sevilla star Carlos Bacca:

The 27 year-old only joined the Sevilla ranks last summer, but netted 21 times last season to fire Los Palanganos to a fifth-place finish in La Liga and the 2014 Europa League title. Here’s a look at his vitals from the debut campaign: Bacca And Bacca’s season highlights: The South American is a powerful, energetic and explosive striker, famed for his unorthodox style – this eccentric spot-kick being a classic example:

Bacca comes with a £28million release clause but Goal.com believe the Spanish side would be prepared to sell for under half of that fee. Long-term interest from Inter Milan however could prove to be a late stumbling block:

CONNOR WICKHAM

Connor Wickham (Sunderland) An obscure suggestion perhaps, but in terms of last-minute, budgeted additions to Arsenal’s strike-force, the London club could do a lot worse than England U21 Connor Wickham. After an impressive loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday that produced eight goals in just eleven appearances, the 21 year-old returned to parent club Sunderland in March to play a vital role in their survival bid. He found the net against Chelsea, Manchester City and Cardiff City and also produced an assist against Manchester United. This near-post finish particularly caught the eye:

It marked enormous strides for the young striker and a return of 17 in 31 for England across the junior levels further back up his goal-scoring credentials. Here’s the highlights from his short stay at Hillsborough:

The former Ipswich youngster measures in at 6 foot 3 and his powerful frame would suit Arsenal’s lone striking role well. Furthermore, Arsene Wenger has recently commented on his ambitions to add to the Gunners’ English core and Wickham would fit that requirement too.

Unlike most home-grown talents however, the Black Cats prodigy could be available to Arsenal for surprisingly cheap this deadline day. He refused a contract extension at the Stadium of Light earlier this summer will his current deal set to expire at the end of the campaign.

West Ham tried and failed to lure the striker with a £5million bid, whilst Crystal Palace and Newcastle have been strongly linked too:

But it’s believed £8million – by no means a sensational or unjustifiable fee – could be enough to convince Gus Poyet to sell:

WILFRIED BONY

Bony1
Tall, powerful and well-proven in the Premier League, a number of English clubs are alleged to be monitoring Wilfried Bony’s situation this deadline day:

After netting 37 times during his ultimate season at Vitesse Arnhem, the Ivory Coast international joined the Swansea ranks last summer in a £12million deal. But a return of 16 goals in his 34 Premier League appearances since has attracted a number of top clubs to his services. OptaJoe felt compelled to comment on Bony’s impressive form:

Here’s some of the highlights from his inaugural Premier League campaign:

A few weeks ago it was alleged Swansea were prepared to drop the 25 year-old’s £19million release clause after his plans to leave were made abundantly clear. But with so many clubs – particularly Tottenham – in the mix for his services, a feisty bidding war could see his eventual transfer fee easily exceed the £25million mark.

ALVARO NEGREDO

Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City)
It’s known that Manchester City are planning to offload Alvaro Negredo, with the Spain international reportedly on the verge of joining Valencia:

But nothing is set in stone yet and deadline day is a crazy place – there’s still time for the Gunners to weigh in. The 29 year-old struggled for fitness and goals towards the end of last season but his overall form throughout his inaugural Premier League campaign was incredibly impressive, as detailed below: negredo Quick, strong and incredibly direct, the former Sevilla star is a natural taker to the Premier League. His mixture of brawn and technical quality fits Arsenal’s philosophy too. Here’s a look at ‘The Beast’ in action: City signed the striker for just £17million last summer, and with them clearly interested in selling it’s unlikely his permanent departure would exceed that fee. Whether they’re prepared to strengthen a divisional rival however – and whether Arsenal can hi-jack the Valencia deal before its completion – remains to be seen.

KLAAS-JAN HUNTELAAR

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Despite being linked to Liverpool, Tottenham and Galatasaray earlier this summer and Arsenal in virtually every transfer window since the dawn of time, we’re yet to see movement from Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Admittedly, the 30 year-old doesn’t offer much to open play, as shown through his uninspiring passing statistics from last season: Huntelaar passig There’s no doubting his ability to finish however – the Netherlands international has netted 91 goals in 139 appearances for the Miners and also boasts a healthy return of 35 goals in 65 outings for Oranje. Here’s a look at Huntelaar’s Top Ten goals: Schalke general manager Horst Heldt claims the former Ajax and Real Madrid front-man isn’t for sale but with his Veltins Arena contract entering its final twelve months and a new deal yet to materialise, a sizable fee could make the German outfit think twice.

MATTIA DESTRO

Destro A final option for the Gunners to consider is Roma front-man Mattia Destro, who was linked with a move to Chelsea earlier this week:

The 23 year-old is considered to be one of Italian top flight’s most promising striking talents, having found the net 33 times in 85 league appearances throughout spells with Genoa, Siena and Giallorossi.

Indeed, his 13 goals last term helped Roma clinch the runner-up spot in Serie A – here’s a look at his stats from the campaign:

Destro

Destro’s biggest strengths are his intelligence as a footballer and efficiency in front of goal. Last season, he bagged 0.95 goals per 90 minutes and converted 37% of shots into goals, despite averaging under two per match. Here’s a look at the 6 foot striker in action:

But it’s believed Roma are willing to cash in, due to head coach Rudi Garcia allegedly preferring a more dynamic-in-style centre-forward.

The five-cap Italy international’s £19million valuation should be within Arsenal’s financial reach. But Chelsea are rumoured to still be interested in his services, despite wrapping up a deal for Loic Remy: