With mere hours remaining in the summer transfer window, the writing is clearly on the wall that if there’s one area of the pitch Arsenal needs to reinforce, it’s at striker.
Spurning at least two high-profile opportunities to score against Newcastle United on Saturday, Theo Walcott blew his big chance to convince Arsene Wenger that he’s got what it takes to lead the line for the Gunners. Coming on as a sub with around 20 minutes remaining, Olivier Giroud also failed to impress, and Alexis Sanchez continues to drift through matches without making much of an impact.
Despite sitting in sixth place and having taken seven points out of a possible 12, Arsenal has only scored one goal this season: Giroud’s acrobatic strike in last week’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. The Gunners have failed to score at all in two of their matches and right now the team’s leading scorer is own goals.
Karim Benzema, having been targeted by Arsenal earlier in the window, took to Twitter last week and basically stuck a pin in any rumors suggesting he’d be leaving Real Madrid. Since then the Gunners have been linked to Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain.
Reports in the UK press on Monday indicate the Gunners are lining up one final push to sign the Uruguayan before the transfer window slams shut on Tuesday. But with Zlatan Ibrahimovic now aged 34 and in the final year of his contract, it’s not clear why PSG would allow Cavani to go, especially after the striker’s stellar two-goal performance against Monaco on Sunday.
According to other reports, on-again, off-again Arsenal transfer target Gonzalo Higuain may also still be in the picture.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has decried the current shortage of high-quality strikers on the market, and he’s got a point: There aren’t a lot of top-tier goal-getters on the market at the moment. So it makes sense that a team like Chelsea would take a gamble on damaged goods like Radamel Falcao.
But quality doesn’t always mean having to break the bank. On Sunday, Manchester United suffered a shock loss to Swansea City, having been undone by strikes from Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis – both of whom joined the Welsh club on free transfers from Marseille and Lyon, respectively.
In the past Wenger has shown a knack for snapping up below-the-radar players with great potential on the cheaps, and for pulling off big moves in the final hours of the transfer window. Arsenal fans must keep their fingers crossed that he can do so again, and quickly.