With Arsenal struggling to secure Champions League football, manager Arsene Wenger will be looking to strengthen his squad in the summer. With Olivier Giroud currently the only real striker at the club, the French manager could be set to bring in another attacking option when the transfer window opens.
The Sun are reporting that Wenger will go in for Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic in the summer, despite the forward’s £25million price tag. A big fee for a 23-year-old, who has only managed 12 Serie A goals this season, just one more league goal than Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have both managed this year. But with Santi Cazorla being the Gunners’ top scorer this campaign, it seems Wenger has relied too heavily on his midfield and wingers, and needs a more prolific scorer.
But is Stevan Jovetic really the man for the job? The Montenegro forward has scored nine goals less than the Serie A top-scorer Edinson Cavani, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal’s rivals, Chelsea. But at the young age of 23, Jovetic has plenty of time to develop and grow. Especially under the guidance of someone like Arsene Wenger, whose famous attacking philosophy could lead to Jovetic becoming a 20 goals-a-season striker.
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Arsenal have always looked to the future with Arsene Wenger, signing young players with fantastic potential. But with eight years without a trophy, it could be time for Wenger to stop taking the risk of signing young, unproven players, and instead bring someone established and experienced into the club. Something they had last season, with Robin van Persie. The 29-year-old was prolific last campaign, scoring 30 goals in the Premier League. And although van Persie’s replacement, Olivier Giroud, has scored 17 goals in all competitions in his debut season, the Gunners need a player capable of scoring more than 20 league goals during the campaign.
Despite Edinson Cavani being priced well out of Wenger’s financial range, the Frenchman still has plenty of options around Europe. Roberto Soldado has scored 17 goals in La Liga this season, helping Valencia to 5th place in the league table, just two points away from a Champions League qualifying spot. Nearing his 28th birthday, Soldado has impressed for Valencia, both in the league and in Europe, scoring four goals in his seven appearances in the Champions League this season. A striker that could bring experience and goals to the Emirates.
Another La Liga striker that possesses the experience Arsenal need is Alvaro Negredo. The Sevilla forward boasts 18 league goals to his name this season, and has been heavily linked with Arsenal’s neighbours Spurs. With Sevilla struggling to finish in the top half, the former Real Madrid star could be happy to move to a club offering Champions League football next season. At just 27-years-old, Negredo’s pace and finishing could push Arsenal closer to a top two spot in the league table.
Germany could also possess the answer to Wenger’s attacking woes. Stefan Kiessling has been in stunning form this season for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 21 league goals with four games to spare. The 29-year-old has scored more than a third of Leverkusen’s goals this season in the Bundesliga, as they look set to claim a Champions League qualifying spot. Scoring only two goals less than Robert Lewandowski, Kiessling has proved his ability to win the ball in the air and score goals.
Three top strikers, all of which have proved their value and ability over time. With a combined total of 53 league goals this year, there can be no doubting their quality as top class strikers. The only thing not on their side is time. With the general belief that a player starts to decline in their early thirties, none of these players are long-term investments for Arsenal. However, Sir Alex Ferguson signed 29-year-old van Persie this season, who was key to Manchester United winning the league, suggesting perhaps it’s not all about the future.
So Wenger has a choice to make. Does he stick with his blueprints and sign a young striker full of potential like he’s done in the past? Or does he sign an experienced, proven goal scorer capable of getting over 20 league goals in a season? After all, Jovetic is a big gamble.
Scoring just 12 goals in Serie A doesn’t mean you can score many goals in the Premier League. And with Arsenal falling closer and closer to 5th place every year, now might be the perfect time to bring in some solidity into the side, and sign a player who has scored on average every other game. But when you sign a big risk like Jovetic, sometimes you get a big payout in the future.
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