Five front men Arsenal should target in January

Make no mistake about it, Arsenal are the Premier League’s team to beat at the moment.

They’re at the top of the form guide with five wins and one draw from their last six games – including 3-0 rompings over Manchester United, Watford and Swansea City – and are separated from table-toppers Manchester City on goal difference alone.

This is unquestionably Arsenal’s strongest title bid for the best part of a decade but if one concern has emerged from their first twelve games, it’s a lack of depth up top – highlighted by injuries to Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott.

The England internationals are both on the mend but another dependable goal scorer would immeasurably improve the Gunners’ title credentials.

So with that in mind and the winter transfer window now less than two months away, Football Fancast have been running the rule over a series of strikers the Gunners could realistically sign in January. Here are our top FIVE suggestions.

MICHY BATSHUAYI


Belgium internationals are dominating the top end of the Premier League like never before and one of the latest youngsters to emerge from the Red Devils’ production line is Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi.

In goal scoring terms, the 22-year-old simply hasn’t looked back following his 2011 debut for Standard Liege. He scored 44 goals in 120 appearances for the Belgian outfit and has claimed 19 in 41 since earning a big-money move to Stade Velodrome in summer 2014 – including eight goals in Ligue 1 this season.

A phenomenal athlete blessed with pace, power and leap in equal measure, the one-cap international seems a good fit for Premier League football.

Arsenal have already taken an interest according to The Express, but Marseille showed their resilience in the summer by rejecting a £22million bid for the 5 foot 11 front man.

ALEKSANDR KOKORIN


Arsene Wenger likes his bargains and Aleksandr Kokorin has already been mooted as a cut-price target for the January transfer window, after the Gunners allegedly tried to sign him on loan during the summer.

The 24 year-old’s return of 41 goals in 171 Russian top flight appearances might not seem so spectacular, but he’s more a support striker or winger-forward than an out-and-out front-man, providing creativity, pace and versatility in the final third.

That could make Kokorin the ideal for Arsenal, considering Wenger feels more than confident in Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott’s goal scoring abilities; although he would boost their depth up front for the remainder of the campaign, he’d contribute to other positions in the long-term.

Likewise, the Russian international’s Khimki Arena contract expires at the end of the season, leading some sources to claim he could be available for just £7million in the coming transfer window.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG


No striker in Europe’s five leading top flights has scored more goals than Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season, boasting a potent haul of 14 goals in twelve Bundesliga appearances.

That brings his total for the Black-Yellows to a formidable 63 in 114 outings, including three consecutive Bundesliga campaigns of double figures, and he’s resultantly been linked with pretty much every major European club over the last few months.

But in a similar manner to Theo Walcott, the Gabon international’s lightening speed and dribbling ability could prove particularly deadly at Arsenal, in front of a midfield containing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla.

The former St. Etienne star is verging upon the realms of world-class but after signing a contract extension until 2020 in the summer, Dortmund know they’re under no direct obligation to sell.

AYOZE PEREZ


After scoring the only goal in a vital win over Bournemouth last Saturday, Newcastle forward Ayoze Perez is one again being mooted as a transfer target of the Premier League’s top clubs – including Arsenal.

The 22-year-old’s return for Newcastle may not seem so astounding, ten strikes in 46 Premier League outings thus far, but he’s blessed with two exceptionally quick feet, fantastic positional intelligence and the resulting ability to find pockets of space in the final third.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have taken an interest in the former Tenerife youngster before and the technical ability that gained their attention would suit Arsenal’s style of football perfectly.

Some might argue a January move to the Emirates would be a little too soon, considering Perez hasn’t always been an automatic starter during his time in Tyneside.

But the prodigious forward, who can operate as a front-man, a wide-forward or a No.10, is developing at an impressive rate and the Gunners would be wise to snap him up before somebody else does.

GONZALO HIGUAIN


Gonzalo Higuain is no stranger to Arsenal’s rumour columns, having come close to signing for the Gunners in summer 2013 until a dispute over his price-tag – paving the way for a move to Napoli instead.

The Argentina international has since produced 65 goals in 117 appearances for the Serie A outfit – including nine league goals this season – bringing his career total to 229 in 474, throughout spells with River Plate, Real Madrid, Albiceleste and his current employers.

If there’s one thing Arsenal’s forward cast currently lacks, it’s natural goal scoring, fox-in-the-box-esque instincts, something the 27 year-old has made a glistening career out of.

Easily the best striker in Europe not plying his trade in the Champions League this season, following Napoli’s failure to qualify last term, it seems almost inevitable that the continent’s top clubs will come sniffing around in January.

The Naples outfit are understandably reluctant to sell, however, and have remained consistent in demanding any suitor must activate Higuain’s £67million release clause.