Things are looking up at the Emirates Stadium. With Arsenal finally looking like mounting a solid title challenge for the first time in many years, the atmosphere is good among both players as well as fans.
However, even with the team playing enticingly beautiful football for most of the season, an area of concern still exists for the Gunners - that of the striker. With Olivier Giroud not being the most prolific goalscorer, and having only one other conventional striker in their squad in the much maligned Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal have had to depend too much on their midfielders for goals.
A glance at the squads of any of Arsenal's title challengers will prove that this situation is far from ideal - Manchester City have four strikers in their roster, whereas Chelsea and Liverpool have three - with arguably all of them being better than Arsenal's second choice centre-forward.
Realising this, Arsene Wenger is understood to be on the lookout for a new striker to reinforce his squad. Here are his options.
Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)
The former Manchester United and Tottenham striker may not be the prolific signing, nor will he be the most promising. At 32, he is not getting any younger either. However, the Bulgarian may prove to be a decent short term fix, especially as he will be available on the cheap as his contract runs out in six months.
Berbatov's statistics this season may not be all that great, with a return of only four goals in 16 Premier League outings, but those stats are almost definite to increase if he plays in front of a supremely talented midfield lineup such as that present at Arsenal.
For all his lack of goals, Berbatov still possesses a keen reading of the game and also retains his aptitude for getting into good scoring positions. For a team that boasts only two conventional strikers in the squad, Berbatov may well prove to be a valuable addition.
Verdict: Very likely
Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient)
Knowing Arsene Wenger, there cannot be a transfer window without a new exciting kid from Ligue 1 being linked with a move to Arsenal. This time around, the honour falls to Lorient's 21-year-old striker Vincent Aboubakar.
The Cameroonian frontman has scored 11 times in 20 appearances so far in the league, a statistic which places him as third highest scorer behind only Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
However, with his playing style being too similar to that of Olivier Giroud, one can question the degree to which this move would enhance Arsenal's squad strength. Still, Aboubakar does have the advantage that he would not be cup-tied and hence would be available to play in the rest of the Gunners' Champions League campaign.
Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)
The top scorer at the 2012 under-21 European Championships has found playing time hard to come by at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, with both Karim Benzema and Jese Rodriguez above him in the pecking order.
However, whenever given the chance, the young Spaniard has impressed, and has bagged himself three goals in the league this season - including a vital injury time goal against Levante. A striker with excellent vision as well as a keen eye for goal, Morata is also an adept dribbler and would fit in seamlessly with an Arsenal team that prefers to play possession football.
Even though the player himself is reportedly keen to make a loan move to find more playing time, Real Coach Carlo Ancelotti is understood to be reluctant to let him leave (even on loan) due to the dearth of conventional strikers in the Spanish capital.
Verdict : Unlikely
Max Kruse (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Gladbach's Max Kruse has been in inspired form in the Bundesliga this season, and has been the team's talisman in their impressive campaign so far. The summer signing from Freiburg has already garnered eight goals and five assists in the league this season - from just 17 matches.
Strong in both holding the ball up for his teammates to join in attack ,as well as taking on defenders to score himself, Kruse's incredible form has also seen him break into the German national team.
The pacy German would also be a bigger threat on the counter than Arsenal's current first choice centre-forward - Olivier Giroud. Still, with Kruse on a long contract at the club, Gladbach would be reluctant to part with their star man halfway through the season - especially since they themselves are very much in the running for a Champions League place next season.
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
The Brazilian born Spanish forward has been in inspired form for Atletico this season, and has already scored 19 goals for the capital club in as many games in the league. His excellent form has seen Atletico match Barcelona point for point at the top of the table.
Very much the complete striker having superb positioning sense as well as lethal finishing, in addition to being strong in the air, Costa fits the bill perfectly for Arsenal. And with Arsenal supposedly ready to pay his buyout clause, all that remains to be seen is if the player himself is keen to swap a title challenge in Spain for one in England.
Verdict: Very Unlikely
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