Sitting comfortably on the top of the Premier League table, Arsenal are hoping to further strengthen their position as they look to reinforce their squad this January. Mesut Ozil’s arrival has spurned the London side into one of their finest starts this league and it has been reported that Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a striker to lessen the burden on Olivier Giroud.
With the French striker taking his tally to seven goals in 13 games this season, Arsene Wenger has no reason to be looking for a substitute for Giroud. But as the season enters its crunch phase, he will be haunted with the fact that he has no other alternative striker in his squad in case he has to replace his talismanic striker. With games being packed into the Premier League calendar, it is not feasible to play one striker for all the matches without running the risk of injuries. He will therefore be definitely looking for an alternative as his other summer signing, Yaya Sanogo has failed to shrug off his injury concerns. Signing the young French international striker from Auxerre has failed to reap any dividends for Arsenal as the striker remains sidelined due to injuries making only one appearance so far this season. Though Arsene Wenger remains optimistic regarding his young prodigy, it remains to be seen if Sanogo can really deliver when called upon to do so.
We have at the moment Yaya Sanogo who is a striker we brought in during the summer, who is coming back from injury in January. Hopefully he will help us in the second part of the season.
Playing in the English Premier League, especially for a side that is seriously contending for the title, can be a daunting task for the striker and many believe that though he has the potential to develop, he cannot yet be used to support Giroud up front.
So what options is Arsene Wenger left with? Podolski can double up as a striker if required but the German international is usually deployed by the manager on the left flank and is currently sidelined due to injuries. With Carzorla and Ozil switching position between themselves in the middle and the left, it will be very difficult for Podolski to find himself a starting spot in the squad. Serious challengers to the title, Arsene Wenger will like to have a replacement for Giroud in case of an injury and not bank on Nicklas Bendtner to take on the mantle in case an unfavourable situation arises.
Alvaro Morata has been linked with Arsenal and had reportedly agreed to a 6 month loan period at the Emirates. Alexander Pato too has been linked and an offer of £6.5 million was allegedly rejected by Corinthians according to a Brazillian newspaper. While Arsenal remains in search of a striker, Arsene Wenger has denied the rumours and has stated that he has not been in touch with Real Madrid over the young striker.
No. There is no truth in that. That is all I can say, I have not been in touch with them (Real Madrid)
But while the French manager has denied the speculation, it is highly likely that the two strikers may form a part of Wenger’s plan this January. Alvaro Morata has sent all the right signals after his brilliant performances in the U-21 platform. Playing second fiddle to Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, he has only made ten appearances so far this season, mostly coming from the bench in the dying minutes of the game. A crowd favourite at the Santiago Bernabeu, Morata is seen as the natural heir to Raul. Keeping the World Cup in mind, many believe that the youngster is hopeful of Spanish National team call up but will need to convince Del Bosque by proving his worth on the pitch. This might force the youngster to seek a temporary move away from Madrid in order to get more game time, but it is very unlikely that the Real Madrid management will agree to such a move. Having sold Higuain to Napoli this summer, Ancelotti will like to keep his options open and will not like to see his young striker move away from the capital. Though Benzema has regained his lost form, Morata will be an integral part of Ancelotti’s plans especially since he is the only substitute striker available in the squad. The striker too reportedly denied any possibility of moving away from Madrid and stated that he intends to fight for his spot in the team.
I’m only thinking about winning with Real Madrid. I’m happy in this team. I’ll gradually cement my place in the starting XI. I’m sure of that. My time hasn’t yet come.
It has also been reported that Arsene Wenger tried to sign Brazilian striker Alexander Pato from Corinthians but a bid of £6.5 million was rejected by the club. Tottenham too have their eyes on the Brazilian striker who moved from AC Milan to Brazil hoping to regain his lost form. With Soldado failing to make his presence felt on the Premier League, Tottenham have been disappointing this year despite a major overhaul in summer. Brazilian newspaper Lance! reported that Arsenal did make an offer for Pato but it was refused by the Brazilian outfit. According to the newspaper, a higher bid might force them to part with the out-of-form striker. Pato has been surprisingly disappointing since his return to Brazil especially since the striker was highly rated when coming up the ranks at AC Milan. It is unfortunate that Pato could not reach his potential due to prolonged injuries which saw him haltingly progress in his career. Having scored only 9 goals in 29 appearances, it remains doubtful if he will be able to adjust to English football given his recent performances. Though there are strong rumours linking him with Tottenham and Arsenal, it doesn’t seem likely that either of the English clubs will go for Pato’s services especially after his poor run of form. The striker too returned to Brazil with the hope of reviving a faltering career and will look to concentrate on his game and avoid the spotlight that a move to England might bring. Keeping an eye on the coming World Cup, many believe that it is with Corinthians that Pato can look to impress Scolari ahead of the squad selection.
It now remains to be seen how Arsenal deal in this transfer window. If they are to continue their challenge for the English throne then it seems likely that Emirates will see the arrival of a new striker this January. Desperate for success, Arsene Wenger will be gambling with high stakes if he refuses to add to his arsenal of strikers.