At the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, Emmanuel Adebayor did what he does best and that is scoring against Tottenham Hotspur. The Togolese forward now has ten goals against the Lilywhites, with eight of them coming whilst playing for fellow North London outfit Arsenal. While Adebayor is netting braces on Europe’s biggest footballing stage, previous employers Arsenal find themselves struggling to score against the likes of Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers, let alone to claim any silverware from a season that promised so much just a month ago.
Adebayor was hailed as the heir to Thierry Henry’s throne at Arsenal when he arrived, and with 62 goals in 143 games ‘Baby Kanu’ looked like he was just that. However, after a high profile exit to Manchester City, did Arsenal do enough to replace the former Togolese international?
Robin Van Persie is Arsenal’s most recognisable striker at present but the Dutch international plys his trade mainly in the treatment room. There is no question that when fit and on form Van Persie is a lethal finisher and over the seasons has scored some crucial goals, but Van Persie doesn’t offer the strength or aerial ability of Adebayor, which have often been attributes Arsenal have said to have lacked.
Nicklas Bendtner: “The biggest thing I miss because of football is that I really, really love to go on a skiing holiday but as long as I have my career, I can’t do that because of the risk of being injured.” This statement says it all about the big Dane. A continual frustration for Arsenal fans is the appearance of Bendtner, despite having a pretty decent goalscoring record for the Gunners, his lack of pace and the gilt edged chance he missed recently against Barcelona at the Nou Camp probably means he is heading for the exit door in the summer. Definitely not the top class striker Arsenal need.
Carlos Vela, ignoring his uncanny resemblance to former striker Eduardo in looks and style of play, the Mexican international is a constant threat and live wire but Arsenal have players such as this all across the park. Vela isn’t going to loiter on the six yard box and give that physical presence that Arsenal are still searching for in a striker.
Marouane Chamakh, a free transfer from Bordeaux in the summer, had an impressive start for Arsene Wenger’s side filling in for the injured Van Persie. Chamakh offered an aerial prowess on a regular basis that has been missing since Adebayor’s turbulent exit. The jury is still out on the Moroccan forward, though, with his performances appearing to go ‘off the boil’ in recent weeks. He may still be the answer to Arsenal’s need for a top striker, but he needs time, something which Arsenal don’t have.
Ian Wright was replaced by Thierry Henry, Henry was looking like he was replaced by Adebayor, but now who does Wenger bring in for the controversial figure that has without a doubt left a hole in Arsenal’s attack? One thing is certain though; Arsenal are desperate for a world class striker.