After a brilliant Harry Kane brace saw off Arsenal at the weekend, the Tottenham forward not only broke Gunners hearts but also showed exactly what Arsene Wenger’s side were missing, a real out-and-out goalscorer in the Premier League.
In recent memory, Arsenal have had some classy centre-forwards that have delivered stacks of goals for the club. The likes of Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie were prolific Premier League goalscorers, providing a spearhead to an attack that was supported by some of the most creative midfielders in the English game. The current Arsenal side of this season have those creative midfielders, the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez to name but a few. However, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot in terms of real, ruthless centre-forwards.
There is no doubting Olivier Giroud’s ability. On his day, he can be a real handful, causing problems in the air as well as showcasing good feet to score a respectable amount of goals at the top level. However, when he is compared to someone like Harry Kane, he simply doesn’t have the same presence on the pitch that the young English forward boasts.
Kane worked his socks off throughout the entire game, running the channels and causing problems for Arsenal’s defence all day. On the other hand, Giroud didn’t really do anything that resembled the youngster’s hard work. He lacks the ability to run at defenders and ultimately frighten them. He does chip in with the occasional goal but his presence on the pitch, in terms of good centre-forward play, is almost non-existent when compared to the effect Kane has on this current Tottenham side.
Giroud was initially brought in as a replacement for Robin van Persie and various questions were asked then in terms of his ability to provide the goals in order for Arsenal to cope with the loss of their star striker. It was always going to be a difficult environment for the French striker to immediately settle into and since then he has adapted well to the Premier League and is a valuable forward in Arsenal’s squad. The big worry is this, he simply isn’t prolific enough to lead Arsenal’s front line. The same applies to Danny Welbeck. They are both two good attacking players but they do not possess the ruthless finishing ability that Arsenal fans have missed since van Persie left the club.
Theo Walcott is always another option up front but once again, if he was going to evolve into a centre-forward at some point in his career, it would have happened by now. Therefore, Arsenal need a proper Premier League goalscorer. A player with a similar goalscoring pedigree that the likes of Sergio Aguero, Wilfried Bony and Diego Costa have possessed over the last couple of seasons. Arsenal simply don’t have that sort of player available to them at the moment so they need to find someone who can provide the team with goals.
This, however, is easier said than done. Most teams in the Premier League need a goalscorer and when they find one, the interest from rival clubs never really dies down. Arsenal experienced it in abundance when RvP departed for Manchester United but now they need to find a proper, world-class replacement as Wenger’s side have gone too long without a real top quality striker up front. Reports of a summer bid for Edinson Cavani is a gamble considering the fact that the Uruguayan is unproven in the Premier League. Nevertheless, it is players of this calibre that Arsenal should be looking at.
Arsenal are a team with enormous potential and their victory over Manchester City at the Etihad shows that they are not far from a team capable of challenging for the Premier League title. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, they received a big reality check against Tottenham through the fact that a frequent goalscorer in Harry Kane exposed the Gunners’ lack of a cutting-edge.
Alexis Sanchez has almost taken it upon himself to adopt the goal-getting habit for Arsenal this season. However, his absence against quality opposition will prompt Wenger to think twice about the attacking options at his disposal. The result against Aston Villa was an impressive one but Wenger will know that he needs improvement from his strikers.
Giroud can get goals but he is not on the same level as other top strikers in the Premier League. It may look as if Arsenal have a wealth of attacking talent but they are missing something crucial; a natural goalscorer that, if found, could be the difference between a fight for fourth spot and a battle for the title.