Although the Premier League transfer window doesn’t open for another week, Arsenal supporters will be ecstatic that their club are getting some business done early this summer.
With Granit Xhaka’s £30 million move to north London reported to be nearing finalisation, manager Arsene Wenger will turn his attention to filling the striker-shaped void in his squad.
Plenty of names have been thrown into the hat, but one that seems to gone under the radar is Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool and Sturridge face next season without the prospect of European football after losing the Europa League final 3-1 to Sevilla.
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Sturridge, who opened the scoring with a magnificent curling shot, said he was ‘heartbroken’ by the defeat in Basle and will now focus on training with the England squad ahead of the European Championships.
The injury-prone 26-year-old is entering a crucial stage of his career, and having won no trophies in his three-and-a-half year stint at Anfield, he may consider it time to move on.
His relationship with Jurgen Klopp has been frosty at times this season and although the German will not want to lose such a talent he might have plans to recruit more firepower up front.
Arsenal will always struggle to attract the highest calibre of strikers in world football purely because of the competition they face from bigger clubs in the world.
Last summer’s debacle over the attempted signing of Karim Benzema from Real Madrid is a typical example. Benzema wanted a new contract and used Arsenal as the bait. He had no intention of leaving Spain.
Sturridge represents a feasible target for a club of the Gunners' stature. Despite his multitude of injuries, he has an outstanding goals to games ratio in the Premier League.
In his time at Liverpool, Sturridge’s 43 goals in 69 games equates to him hitting the net once every 1.6 Premier League games. A highly respectable figure and far better than Olivier Giroud’s goal every 2.3 matches.
Reservations over the England man’s fitness - he missed 28 games over the past two seasons due to two hamstring injuries alone - would be taken into consideration should the Gunners submit a bid.
Despite his injury record, Arsenal are in a position where they need to gamble as Danny Welbeck is out for another nine months. How much more bad luck with injuries can they realistically have? If Sturridge has a good Euros with England, his value could rocket.
As the Birmingham-born striker is currently contracted to the Reds for a further three years, Arsenal would have to bid in the region of £25 million for Liverpool to be tempted to sell. but money talks and as everyone knows, Wenger and Arsenal currently have plenty of it.
Importantly, Sturridge is the type of player that Wenger likes. Inordinately talented with the ball at his feet and a clinical finisher, with him on the end of Mesut Ozil’s through balls rather than Giroud, the results should be devastating.
The problem for Arsenal is the scarcity of available forwards at the moment. Gonzalo Higuain is overpriced off the back of an incredible season at Napoli and Alvaro Morata’s complex contract situation with Real Madrid and Juventus makes signing him look unlikely.
Jamie Vardy could certainly be a possibility as Leicester consider cashing in on the 29-year-old while his value is at its peak.
Although we don't know exactly who Arsenal will target this summer, we all know that a striker is needed at the Emirates Stadium.
Should Arsenal make a formal bid for Daniel Sturridge? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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