Arsenal’s lack of depth in the striking department has been well documented this year, with the club solely relying on Frenchman Olivier Giroud in the forward position.
They do have the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and little known Yaya Sanogo as well among their ranks but such names make for grim reading among Gunners fans in terms of players who will actually guarantee them goals.
One shudders to think how exactly they would cope if, god forbid, Giroud succumbs to injury. Arsene Wenger is fully aware of this and in a recent interview said that he may have to dip into the transfer market to alleviate some of the pressure on his main striker.
Well Arsene, we've opted to do some of the dirty work for you. Here is a scoop on the most ideal candidates Arsenal should target in January...
1. Edin Dzeko
The Bosnian had been on the fringes under Roberto Mancini and was on the way out of the club until the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini and an ensuing pep talk turned his mind in the other direction.
The Chilean manager sang his praises throughout the summer and after the merry-go-round of strikers at the Etihad was complete, Dzeko found himself with only Aguero and new arrivals Negredo and Jovetic for company.
He was assured of the main striker status by the new manager and started in most of the pre-season matches. However, after the first two games, Dzeko has found himself starting on the bench rather than on the lush green and with the newfound partnership of Aguero and Negredo proving indispensable, the big Bosnian has had to develop more of a partnership
of his own with Serbian Jovetic on the Etihad bench. That was not the plan.
Despite assurances to the contrary as recently as this week by his manager that he is still an important member of the squad, Dzeko is still some way from breaking the Negredo-Aguero partnership that between them has produced 28 goals and with the World Cup looming, he may be tempted to move to the Gunners.
It is more difficult than it sounds but it is possible and with the right money, City may find it hard to resist moving him on. The only problem is that he is a similar player to Giroud but, that notwithstanding, he is an upgrade of the Frenchman and possesses much more experience at the highest level.
2. Jackson Martinez
The 27-year-old Colombian was brought in to replace the departed Radamel Falcao and let's just say his fellow native has not been missed that much at the Dragao. Martinez's 11 goals in his 12 games at Porto beat the record of former Porto strikers Falcao and Lisandro and he ended the season as the league’s top scorer with 26 goals to his name.
Talk about blistering season debuts. He has been Porto’s leading light in an otherwise disappointing campaign this season, especially in the Champions League, averaging a goal
every two shots.
Chelsea have been strongly linked with Martinez with his agent having been spotted in London recently, but Jose Mourinho moved to dispel those rumours, saying Chelsea will not be bringing in any forwards in January. This leaves the door open for Arsenal to swoop in. However, he will not come cheap.
A £40million release-clause in his contract can be deemed as over-the-top for a player who has not yet set Europe alight in the same way his Colombian predecessor did, despite the fact the potential has never been in doubt.
Arsenal could try land the forward at half that price and with Porto’s history of losing their best players for the right amount, who says January could be too soon for Martinez to be the latest big star player to leave the Dragao.
The Brazilian signed from Gremio took some time before settling fully at his new club Valencia. He scored the second fastest goal in Champions League history as Valencia beat Leverkusen last season as he finished the league with a personal best of 13 goals.
More recently, the 29-year-old Brazilian hit an eight minute hat-trick against Osasuna as he moved his tally to eight goals this campaign.
The Brazilian international would cost the least out of this three but would be an ideal stop-gap for the second half of the season. He brings considerable experience, is more mobile than Giroud and is more of a poacher than the hold-up-play kind of forward that the Frenchman is.
With the kind of service he will be receiving at Arsenal, chances are, he would be banging in the goals for the Emirates outfit before too long.
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