Top three: Arsenal summer striker targets
Arsenal opinion: Arsene Wenger has money to spend & a void to fill up front, but who should the Frenchman sign?
Arsene Wenger reportedly has a sizeable war chest at his disposal for the summer transfer market.
While a frugal approach in the previous transfer windows, selling off of top performers and lucrative deals have contributed to this financial bonanza for the Gunners. Who are the players that are going to add such quality to his side?
In the 2011 - 12 season, it was Robin van Persie who stole the limelight, and scored bucket loads of goals to drag the team over the finish line into the Champions' League, but left for greener pastures soon after.
His departure heralded a new team approach for the Gunners, with as many as four players, including three debutantes, crossing the ten-goal mark in the season, to again ensure Champions' League qualification.
Wenger believes two of these four - Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud - will kick on in the second season and score more, after having enjoyed fairly successful first seasons in the Premier League.
However, pressure from the fans and the possibility of immediate rivals strengthening their sides further has meant that Wenger might have to bring in reinforcement in attack. We look at some of the strikers who have been linked to the Emirates Stadium, and how they would add value to the side.
The Argentine striker is a proven goal scorer in the La Liga, but has confessed he wants a move from the Bernabeu. With interest from Juventus, Arsenal may have to break their transfer record to land the striker renowned for speed in the last third of the pitch and great striking ability - both of which will add value to the squad.
If acquired he will definitely start up top, with Walcott and Podolski or Cazorla, and will mean Giroud dropping to the bench. He has Champions' league experience and also experience of winning trophies at the Bernabeu, but will require some settling in time in the Premier League - so is not a readymade quick fix solution, but is someone who will add long-term value to the squad.
It seems unlikely, however that Wenger will acquire him, only to watch him struggle in the pace and physicality of the Premier league initially, while Giroud languishes in the subs benches, having had one year of experience in the league.
Of all the transfer rumours, Arsenal signing the Montenegrin from Fiorentina was the strongest until a few days back. He still might end up at the Emirates, with his team mates expecting him to leave the Italian club.
What would attract him to Wenger is that he has age on his side, and a versatility to play across the forward line, however, he would again require some time to adjust to the Premier league, and that period might cost the hopefully trophy challenging side some points next season.
Of all the strikers being linked to the Emirates this seems to be a done and dusted deal. The striker of Auxerre is young, French, has been prolific in the Ligue 2 season with nine goals in eleven appearances for the club, and will be the cheapest of all the options listed - all ingredients of a typical Wenger signing. However, as with Jovetic and Higuain he would require a period of getting used to in the premier league, and is inexperienced, and in all probability be a back up to Giroud up front.
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