It could only happen to Arsenal. On the eve of the closure of the transfer window, the team’s first-choice (and only senior) centre-forward Olivier Giroud has been ruled out with injury for up to three months following a fairly innocuous phase of play on the weekend against Everton.
It leaves Arsenal well short of options for the first half of the season, with Yaya Sango and Alexis Sanchez the only obvious choices for Arsene Wenger, and Lukas Podolski on the brink of a move away, though Giroud’s injury status may force a rethink of the sale of the German international.
Arsenal have the funds – and everyone knows it – but are the options out there? It terms of world-class centre-forwards, it seems unlikely.
But with less than a week left of the summer window, he’s a rundown of five centre-forward options for Arsene Wenger.
Carlos Bacca has thus far remained at Sevilla despite a belief that he’d be off this summer after the season he had last term.
The Colombian was surprisingly overlooked as a starter for his national team at the World Cup, but then other high-profile names like Jackson Martinez also saw much of the tournament in Brazil from the bench.
Bacca nevertheless has many qualities that would see him do well at Arsenal. He’s strong, quick, good in the air, and able to play the lone striker role. The move from Belgian football to Sevilla would have set him up nicely for a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
There’s an opportunity now for Arsene Wenger to revisit the topic of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who Arsenal were heavily linked with a few seasons back.
The Dutch international’ rigid style of play may not be to the Wenger’s liking and the system employed at the Emirates, but there’s no doubting Huntelaar’s record in front of goal.
He’s 30 now and won’t have many years left at the top of the game. But as a short-term option, natural goal scorers don’t come much better than the Schalke forward.
Interest in Wilfried Bony has gone cold of late, but the Swansea striker is very much an option for Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager can take comfort in that Bony’s transition from Dutch football to the Premier League has been smooth, while his mould as a powerful striker would see him as a perfect replacement for the injured Olivier Giroud.
Bony is far from the star name fans would have wanted this summer, but he’s a Premier League experienced forward who should only cost around £15 million. A good option if there is little else at this stage of the summer.
It would have been thought that Loic Remy’s move to Liverpool would have finally ended the links to Arsenal, but his failed medical at Anfield has continued those rumours, and now with Olivier Giroud out injured, Remy is one of a handful of names linked to address the centre-forward problem at Arsenal.
It would prove to be a move that sees Arsenal go full circle, having initially reportedly been interest in the French striker at the start of the summer, but opting against his signing and leaving a clear path for Liverpool.
But Remy is still reportedly available for a knockdown fee, and as the week progresses, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him end up at the Emirates.
Danny Welbeck would be a supremely underwhelming signing on Arsenal’s part, as it’s very difficult to see what the forward can provide beyond just hard work.
Welbeck has been linked with a move away from Manchester United this summer in a bid to secure regular football, and while that may be on offer at the Emirates (largely due to the injury record at the club), he won’t offer much that isn’t already available to Arsene Wenger.
Versatile and in tune with the demands of the Premier League are his redeeming qualities. It would be more than understandable if Arsenal fans are hoping Manchester United refuse a sale following the episode with Thomas Vermaelen.