If the rumours are to be believed then Marouane Chamakh will be heading to Arsenal in the summer. The Moroccan striker’s contract runs out at Bordeaux in June and the Emirates looks like his most likely destination. But is he really what the Gunners need?
At first glance, it would seem a resounding yes can be the only answer. At six foot two inches, Chamakh would add some presence to Arsene Wenger’s forward line. Of course, height doesn’t necessarily equate to a player being good in the air. But the striker has proved time and time again in France that he has the ability to attack crosses and set pieces and consistently produce the goods with his bonce. And this is exactly what the North London side need. It has been a while since they have had a true aerial threat. Teams fear Arsenal in plenty of ways but putting crosses into the box and attacking them is not one of these. It would certainly give them another string to their bow.
On a free transfer it seems as though it would be an excellent piece of business. Chamakh also works very hard and is quite willing to defend from the front. This will always help win over supporters and is a vital part of a forward’s game in England, especially in the 4-3-3/4-5-1 formations that most teams, including Arsenal, adopt these days. The Moroccan would be able to play anywhere along that front three at the Emirates and would have no problem linking up with Robin Van Persie. He is not a natural finisher but along with his pace Chamakh will bring plenty to Arsenal if, as it seems, that is his destination at the end of the season. The Moroccan international, who has made 53 appearances for his national side, has played for Bordeaux for his entire senior career, since 2002. His 13 goals last season helped the club end Lyon’s seven year domination and win the Ligue 1 title. But he has decided that it is time to move on, and last month he stated that Arsenal was his preferred choice.
“My future? Well, I hold all the cards, I have no reason to be under pressure but everyday passing by, I am a little less a Bordeaux player. My choice is to join Premier League and if I could choose, I will go to Arsenal. Bordeaux has brought me so much. I will soon clearly state things so the club can prepare to find my replacement peacefully.”
The only question mark hanging over the forward is that he is not tested outside of France in league football. The standard in Ligue 1 is nowhere near the level of the Premier League and seeing as Chamakh’s goal ratio is not overly impressive this could be a worry for Gunners’ fans, He has 10 goals in 30 outings in all appearances this term and it is likely that this will prove to be his most prolific season. So he will not be brought in for his goal-getting alone, but for the all-round game that he seems to possess. If he settles he could prove to be just what Wenger’s young side are crying out for.