What is all the fuss about Marouane Chamakh?

marouane chamakhMarouane Chamakh is now arguably the most wanted man in the Premier League as a number of clubs battle over his signature in the January transfer window. The Bordeaux striker whose contract is set to expire in the summer has been most heavily tracked in England by Arsenal, but now Liverpool appear to have entered the race to sign the Moroccan and even Spurs, West Ham and Sunderland have all been rumoured to have registered an interest in the past. So with a handful of clubs clamouring to sign Chamakh, you would think that the striker has set the world alight in France. But given his far from sensational scoring record and the unimpressive footage of him on the internet, you begin to wonder what all the fuss surrounding Marouane Chamakh is about?

Since Arsenal were first linked with a move for Chamakh last year, many football fans in Britain have had a look at the striker to see why Arsene Wenger likes the look of the Bordeaux star. Soon to turn 26, Chamakh is entering the peak of his career and a move away from Ligue 1 where he has spent the whole of his career is looking more and more likely. He is rated highly in France but his scoring record isn’t particularly impressive considering he is playing in a lesser division, with a strike rate of one in four to date having scored fifty league goals in over two hundred appearances, with thirteen goals last season his best campaign so far. A similar scoring record for Morocco might lead you to think that maybe Chamakh isn’t an out and out goal scorer, but does the striker have much more to his game?

Nice build up play but the finish leaves much to be desired:

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The 6ft 2in striker has an aerial presence but isn’t exactly a target man, with his technical ability one of his best attributes rather than his strength on the ball. His excellent ball control and skilful play have caught the eye of Wenger and now Rafa Benitez it seems, while his pace and hard working nature are further strings to his bow. Chamakh has already told France Football Magazine “I’m going to finish my season at Bordeaux. I don’t want to see my name circulating during the transfer window. I’ve had enough of reading or hearing rumours that they are lacking a centre-forward somewhere.” But that hasn’t stopped clubs battling for pre-contract agreement now. So is the main attraction of Chamakh the fact that he is available for free in the summer and would represent a bargain for any Premiership club that signed him?

This week Liverpool have emerged as strong rivals to Arsenal in the battle to secure the signature of Chamakh in the summer as the Moroccan’s future remains unclear. Arguably the most wanted man in the Premier League, where Chamakh ends up remains to be seen. But with reports from France on the striker somewhat mixed, it seems like his price is a driver of the vast interest in him almost as much as his footballing ability. Given his large number of potential suitors I wouldn’t be surprised if Chamakh was a good signing for either Arsenal or Liverpool, but only if he comes to England in the summer will we know whether all the fuss was justified.

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