Mikel Arteta is reportedly considering up to six striker targets to sign this summer as the Spaniard looks to rebuild his Arsenal frontline, with a shift in policy from Arsene Wenger’s days
Image: Richard Lee/REX/Shutterstock)
Arsenal are wasting no time in attempting to find a striker who can lead their frontline for years to come. And in doing so, the Mikel Arteta is shifting away from Arsene Wenger’s policy during his time in charge.
The Spaniard is working with technical director Edu Gaspar to bring in a new centre forward, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already departing in January and Alexandre Lacazette following him out of the door this summer. The Express report the Gunners reportedly have six targets on their shortlist – and the majority of them point to signing a modern No.9 that most Premier League clubs are turning their attention towards.
Just like how Manchester City have signed Erling Haaland and Manchester United reportedly want Darwin Nunez, Arsenal are keen to sign a young striker, capable of scoring 20 goals a season with as much aerial ability as they have with technique. It is no surprise to see names such as Roma star Tammy Abraham, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Victor Osimhen of Napoli included, given their strong stature and ability to hold up play.
Everton FC via Getty Images)
It is what Arsenal have been missing, a striker with true grit who can find a winner when their style of play isn’t producing goals. And that transfer strategy is far removed from the Wenger days, when he favoured strikers that are more versatile and can contribute to the build-up play, as proven by his capture of Lacazette to replace Olivier Giroud as his main striker in 2017.
The Frenchman cost £52million to sign from Lyon, a club-record fee at the time, after three storming seasons in Ligue 1. When he arrived, Lacazette was only 26 and was coming off the back of a season where he scored 28 times in 30 league appearances, so laying down an exorbitant fee for one of Europe’s most in-form strikers was understandable.
But with his expected departure from the Emirates Stadium after five seasons to head back to his boyhood club, there is a feeling that Lacazette never truly rediscovered that electricity in front of goal during his time in England. His final Premier League campaign saw a return of only four goals in 30 games this season reflects that disappointment.
Have Your Say! Which striker should Arsenal sign to replace Lacazette? Comment below.
There is no denying that a lot of the work Lacazette did was selfless. He was the pressing forward in the frontline and worked tirelessly off the ball to contribute to the team effort. Even if he only lasted an hour of the 90 minutes under Arteta for the majority of his final season, his efforts were always appreciated by his manager and the Arsenal faithful. But when Arsenal needed a player with height and strength to bring others into play this season, Lacazette struggled to flourish in that role.
But Arteta is looking for a striker who feeds off scraps and can make goals from a piece of magic, and the Arsenal boss is prepared to spend big to secure his man. It may take a fee similar to what the club spent on Lacazette to ensure they add quality to the side in attack, with Eddie Nketiah the only recognised forward currently at the club before Folarin Balogun’s return.
With Arsenal putting the final touches to their rebuild, signing a true number nine would be on the icing on the cake. The demands of the Premier League require top teams to have a variety of players who can fulfil different roles – and it seems that with his shortlist of strikers, Arteta recognises what has been missing from his team for some time.