Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may be chasing a big-name centre forward as his main aim in this summer's transfer window, but he will need to also sign an affordable back-up to make sure strength in depth is strong at the Emirates next season.
Mario Balotelli has been linked to the Gunners on numerous occasions alongside France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and it must be said that these players would significantly boost Arsenal's chances of lifting silverware next season. Even if one of these players are signed, Wenger should turn his attention to proficient forward Max Kruse of Borussia Monchengladbach to further boost Arsenal's hopes.
If Arsenal want to be serious challengers for the title next season they have to compete with the forward lines of Manchester City and Liverpool and also with Chelsea. Each of these sides have three top-class centre-forwards in their ranks whereas Arsenal at the moment can only boast of having one: Olivier Giroud. He alone is not enough, so Kruse is a sensible target to add depth and especially quality to a thin forward line.
Kruse is a 26 year-old German forward currently plying his trade for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga and he netted and impressive 12 goals and fired through a further 9 assists in 34 appearances.
Rated at £8.8 million, he would be a cheap player to add who fits Wenger's philosophy perfectly. He created an impressive 191 chances for his team-mates last year, which pushed Monchengladbach to a Europa League position.
Kruse also completes 80.6% of his passes, meaning he can keep the ball well and wait for midfield runners to put through. Kruse would be unique if added as although he can hold up the ball and keep it on the ground well, he can also beat players, completing 3.8 dribbles per game.
Kruse is similar to Giroud but also different as he copies the French striker with flicks and tricks and great technical ability to put midfield runners in, yet he is different in the way that he can beat players with a skill and use his speed to get behind the defensive line.
Their main difference is that Kruse is weak in the air compared to Giroud as he only succeeds in 23.7% of his aerial duels making his French counterpart a stronger option in the air. What makes Kruse stand out as well is his versatility, being able to play in any of the forward positions and he could even possibly play alongside other strikers as an auxiliary striker making him a fantastic prospect for the Gunners.
Arsenal always suffer from an annual injury crisis and bolstering this position with the quality of Max Kruse is a must for Arsenal should they get the opportunity to do so.
Despite these downfalls Kruse's modest price for a player of unique technical quality alongside the fact that he would slot right into Arsenal's system makes him a fantastic potential buy, that must be made alongside some other big-name striker to give Arsenal the quality required.
He may not be the answer to Arsenal's call for a 25-goal-per-season strike, but a still developing Kruse who is about to hit his peak is an opportunity that Wenger has to grab with both arms should the Gunners want to make a push on all fronts in the coming season.
Germany coach Joachim Low made a poor decision not to include Kruse in his World Cup squad and Arsenal fans could profit by getting an exciting purchase on the cheap, one that if available Wenger simply has to make.
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