After another season of disappointment for Arsenal fans, the questions all summer have been around who the Gunners are going to sign.
Granit Xhaka was a good start but, since then, the signings have dried up somewhat. Now as we move towards the end of July the new season is getting closer and closer to kick off and Gunners fans are starting to worry that there may not be any support due in for strikers Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck. Arsenal do have other strikers on the books, Yaya Sanogo and Theo Walcott among them, but neither are entirely convincing when leading the line.
After Giroud’s heroics in the Euros and Alexis Sanchez’s victory in the Copa America they will be returning late from their respective holidays so Arsenal face the prospect of starting the season without a recognised fit striker.
Thus the rumours have kicked on in earnest and a few players seem to repeatedly get linked with the club.
One that has turned up time and again is Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaìn. Fans may remember when Arsenal tried to sign the players back in 2013, with the player opting to sign for Napoli, and it looks like manager Arséne Wenger is attempting to capture him again.
You can see why with Higuaìn scoring 36 goals last season. Impressive enough but it becomes even more so when you remember how notoriously negative the Italian game is. His record for Real Madrid was better than a goal every other game but his output increased when he moved to Italy where he has thus far hit 71 goals in 94 appearances. Given how much Arsenal struggled for goals at times last season it would seem a perfect fit for him to move to North London.
One possible hiccup is the fee; Arsenal are not afraid to splash the cash since their stadium debt was cleared, with Sanchez costing £35m and Mesut Özil currently standing as the club’s record signing at £42m, however the £50m+ fees that are being bandied about may put value-driven Wenger off. In my opinion I think £50m would be a bargain if his goals would help fire Arsenal to their first league title in over a decade. He is currently 28, the age at which strikers are regarded as coming into their prime, so if the Islington club were to sign him they would get four or five of the best footballing years of his career. Take into account his high performances at the moment and this then becomes a mouthwatering prospect.
One thing that does concern me is the rumour that Olivier Giroud will be used as a makeweight in a cash-plus-player deal, which I think is a mistake. I am a huge fan of Giroud and, whilst he does tend to dip in and out of form, when he is on his game he is one of the best strikers in Europe. His strength, first touch and link up play is top-notch and he bags more than his share of goals. I would much rather see Higuaìn join Arsenal to pair up with Giroud and make one the most feared strike-forces in the league, rather than have the club replace one world-class striker with another and still have the same problems if he were to get injured.
It would be a shame for Arsenal to bring in a great player but then have the same issues so hopefully Arséne Wenger will realise that he needs to add, as well as improve.