Marica’s agent Ioan Becali has described the Romanian free agent as ‘a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football’.
This may be true in a number of areas of his game, but it does not appear to be in the key department of goal-scoring. An area that, say Giroud picks up an injury, Arsenal will struggle in.
The tall Romanian was born in Bucharest in 1985 (Marica is 27) and has plied his trade for both Vfb Stuttgart and FC Shakhtar Donetsk, both notable European clubs. His goal-scoring record has never been particularly good, but this is mainly due, in part, to the fact that he has almost always been a second or third-choice striker for every club he has been at. Also, his favoured position is that of winger or second striker, conventionally not a position that the burden of goal-scoring falls too heavily upon.
Arsenal fans do not fear however, Marica is almost always used by the Romanian national team as their main goal outlet, and his decent international scoring record reflects this, with the tricky wideman grabbing 22 goals so far in his 63 caps. Not a bad scoring rate, averaging one in just under every three games.
Marica left Schalke at the end of last season after scoring a paltry five league goals in his two year spell. However this is mainly due to him being played out wide and being back-up for the prolific Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and his return of 3 goals from just 13 games is not a particularly bad return.
He could, in my opinion, even if only used as back up, give Arsenal a much-needed other dimension out wide, providing a far more powerful option than Theo Walcott for example, and would break the mould slightly by not being yet another diminutive, tricky midfielder signed by Wenger.
A decent crosser and frequently described as being ‘a permanent thorn in the side of any opposition defence’, Marica would represent a good signing for Arsenal, due to their desperate need for back-up for Giroud. The fact that he would not even require a transfer fee, could make the one-time Manchester City target a shrewd bit of business for Wenger.
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