A historical but also very tiring transfer window has closed and Arsenal seem ready to face every single challenge imposed against them this season. The Gunners have quite possibly completed the most impressive transfer in the Premier League this summer but the striker’s position still seems one that needs addressing.
Mesut Ozil has definitely changed the landscape of this season after agreeing to move to North London and will definitely offer a lot of solutions to Arsenal’s problems. But there is one person that should have followed the German during the transfer deadline day and that is Chelsea’s striker Demba Ba.
The Gunners came very close to signing the Senegalese forward on Monday, but Chelsea seemed to have pulled the plug at the last minute after hearing that Ozil has joined their Premier League opponents. That left Arsenal and Arsene Wenger fuming as there was no time left to pursue any alternatives.
Now Arsenal count two free transfers, in Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini, one loan deal, in Emiliano Viviano, and one incredible transfer in the former Real Madrid footballer. One of them is a striker but none of them are expected to fill in this position for the rest of the season. Therefore, the 63-year-old manager is now counting on only one fit and reliable pure striker in Olivier Giroud until January.
That is a problem that Ba could definitely solve as he is a very talented and skillful striker that has proven his worth repeatedly throughout his time at the Premier League. The 28-year-old joined the English league in January 2011 and played for West Ham where he amassed 12 caps and seven goals for the East London club. During the summer of the same year he moved to Newcastle were he made a name for himself with 54 appearances and 29 goals for the Toon. Didier Drogba’s departure and Fernando Torres’s underachievement led Chelsea to buy the forward but he didn’t really manage to live up to the expectations with only 15 appearances and two goals for the Blues.
Even though he underperformed at Chelsea it is obvious that this footballer has a tremendous amount of Premier League experience and has also managed to leave his mark on the pitch. This is a very strong and resilient player that failed a medical with Stuttgart in 2009 and another one with Stoke two years later and still managed to perform amazingly well at the Premier League by becoming the Hammers’ top scorer of the 2010-2011 season and the Magpies’ leading goal scorer in the next season.
Giroud is on an amazing role as he has scored three goals in three Premier League matches and shares the top goal-scoring spot with Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge. Nevertheless, Ba could still be considered at least a very reliable substitute to the 26-year-old and could even work with the Frenchman during a rough game where the Gunners will have to apply more pressure in the opposing defense.
Hopefully Giroud will be alright during this season but if he suffers an injury then Wenger will be having problems up front. Theo Wlacott could be considered as his most reliable substitute but he seems better at the wings, same goes for Lukas Podolski who has also suffered an injury this season and could be out for around three months. Sanogo is in a very young age of 20 years old and it already seems like Wenger is not expecting much from the youngster as he has only used him for a few minutes against Fenerbahce and Fulham.
Arsenal’s newest superstar has already turned the Gunners into title contenders as he has made some amazing performances with the German national team and Real Madrid. Ozil’s addition is expected to heat up the front line alongside Santi Cazorla, Walcott and Giroud but the German could never play as a striker. The 24-year-old is more of a passer rather than a goal scorer as his amazing assists have helped Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema score a lot of important goals for the Merengues. He can organise the team’s attack and can read the game perfectly well but someone else will usually have to send the ball to the back of the net, and that person could be Ba.
The Senegal international could really offer a lot of help but for the sake of argument we need to recognise a few problems regarding his case. The 28-year-old did not live up to the expectations at Stamford Bridge as he only counts a mere two goals for the Blues. Therefore, his performance seems to be undergoing a downward spiral as Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to be counting on him for this season.
No one can blame Arsenal for the outcome of this transfer as the Gunners indeed came very close to sign the Senegalese but Chelsea pulled back at the last minute. According to the Daily Mail, when Mourinho heard about his former forward signing with Arsenal he decided that he didn’t want to strengthen his opponents with Ba as he did realise that Arsenal are now a force to be reckoned with. Therefore, the Gunners had no more time to look for other solutions and are now short of attacking options.
Giroud is in top form and based on his performance one could say that this could be his best year at Arsenal. Even though the Gunners are short of strikers they can still try and get some free agent to join by September 15, where the transfer window officially slams shut, and if that doesn’t work then they can start looking for January options now. Ozil has shaken the foundations of the Premier League and is expected to offer some extremely magical moments at the Emirates and perhaps his appearances could make everyone forget about the lack of strikers in the Arsenal squad.