Arsenal are keen to bring in Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to replace ageing superstar Alexandre Lacazette whose contract at the club will expire next summer.
According to The Sun, Premier League giants, Arsenal, are keeping tabs on Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins as a potential replacement for under-fire French star Alexander Lacazette.
Lacazette was a star in Ligue 1 during his time at Lyon. His move to the Emirates back in 2017 was nothing short of a coup for an Arsenal side who were slipping down the pecking order in English football. The 30-year-old has had his moments but has failed to become the infallible scorer that the North Londoners craved. Lacazette has so far made 174 appearances for the club, scoring 67 goals and assisting 29 more.
The Frenchman is now in the final year of his contract and could walk away for free next summer. As of yet, he has not been offered fresh terms by the club. The Gunners could very well choose to cash in on him in January rather than risk losing him on a free six months later. Mikel Arteta does not appear to be averse to sell the French striker.
However, that depends on whether the club can bring in a replacement. One of the names on the list is that of Villa striker Watkins, an inspired signing for the Midlands club. While the 25-year-old is not an infallible goalscorer, he can be a dynamic presence upfront on his day. He adapted well to the Premier League last season, scoring 16 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions for the Villans.
As things stand, Lacazette is the only capable senior striker who can provide an alternative to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners are in the market for a young striker with Premier League experience. Watkins is at the cusp of reaching his prime and certainly fits the bill.
The striker’s contract at Villa Park runs until 2025, and he will not come cheap. The Gunners have already spent £148 million on six recruits this summer and are in no position to go big in January. Curiously, owner Stan Kroenke is ready to splash the cash to bring in a player who will eventually replace Aubameyang.
Another player on their radar is Everton ace Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The English international is another player that fits Arsenal’s bill. However, he recently signed a new long term deal and will cost at least £50 million to sign.
While either player would suit Arsenal just fine, the Gunners are not a top side at this point. Everton and Villa, on the other hand, have much to be excited about. Exactly what Arsenal can offer the duo that their current clubs cannot remains to be seen.