A change in striking scenery
Arsenal could be in need of striking reinforcement in the summer with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both entering the final year of their deals in 2021, in addition to young striker Folarin Balogun’s contract expiring at the end of the current campaign.
At 101 we previously recommended 5 realistic options that Arsenal could look to sign. Before going any further, if you have not already read this you can find the initial 5 here.
With the following selection, it is important to consider the style of forward which Arsenal could look to bring in. The current selection available to Mikel Arteta whilst technical, quick and skilled on the ball, lacks an element of aerial threat and link-up play. Lacazette does provide some of the latter, though this is more down to adaption than natural style.
Therefore, choosing 5 forwards with these characteristics in mind took precedence.
5 more realistic options
Youssef En-Nesyri – Sevilla – Morocco – 23 – Transfermarkt value: £13.5 million
Youssef En-Nesyri has been linked to a number of clubs in the Premier League, which many would consider not to be on the same level as what Arsenal should be targeting. West Ham United had a bid rejected in January for the Moroccan international but, despite this, the Sevilla striker remains one of Europe’s hottest properties.
Furthermore, considering West Ham’s current position in the table in comparison to Arsenal, it may seem a little arrogant to turn away from one of the Hammers’ targets considering the success of Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal.
En-Nesyri is a player who loves to get into the box. He is a determined and proactive forward who finds himself in advantageous positions and uses his physical ability to bully opposition players, finding space and striking in a composed manner.
13 goals in 24 La Liga matches has justified the £18 million which the Spanish side paid Leganes to acquire his services. This fee though means that any sale will be significantly more with West Ham’s reportedly rejected £27 million bid falling £8 million off the club’s valuation.
Alexander Isak – Real Sociedad – Sweden – 21 – Transfermarkt value: £19.8 million
The striker tipped to take on the Swedish striking mantle of Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doing a very good job in La Liga for Real Sociedad since arriving from Borussia Dortmund. Isak has scored 12 goals in 21 league appearances this season and loves to be inside the box whenever possible.
You can see from the above graphic, the Swede prefers to be found in and around the 6-yeard area, making runs for his wide players Mikel Oyarzabal, Portu and Adnan Januzaj to find him with low or aerial crosses.
Still only 21 years old, Isak has a lot more to learn, develop and refine in his game and could be Arsenal’s man for the long-term should they choose to pursue a deal for the striker.
Luka Jovic – Eintracht Frankfurt – Serbia – 23 – Transfermarkt value £18 million
Luka Jovic burst onto the scene at Eintracht Frankfurt at 20 years of age. After scoring 27 goals in the 18/19 season, which included 10 in the Europa League, a move to Real Madrid materialised. The plan was that he would be the club’s long-term striker, with the eventual idea that he would replace Karim Benzema.
However, it has so far not worked out for the Serbian international. He scored just two goals in 17 league appearances last season and has since returned to Frankfurt on loan in January. His form has begun to recover, scoring 3 times in 8 matches.
Due to the form of Andre Silva, who made our previous list, and the movement away from a front two which Jovic succeeded so well in alongside Sebastian Haller, opportunities for him in Germany have again been from the bench.
There is a danger that Arsenal could go in and sign the Serbian forward and not be repaid for their investment. This is of course the case for any signature, however, attempting to revive a player’s career comes with that added element of risk. Although, Jovic is a player that appears to have the potential to once again explode and needs to be given that responsibility and confidence to be the main man for a side again.
Good with both feet, good in the air and good on the ball. Jovic has all the attributes, he just needs the faith. Could it be Arsenal that provide it?
Wout Weghorst – Wolfsburg – Netherlands – 28 – Transfermarkt value: £27 million
The Netherlands striker has been one of the Bundesliga’s deadliest forwards this season. Scoring 14 goals in 23 German league matches and assisting a further 4. His tall frame allows him to dominate crosses and win balls and duels with relative ease.
The amount of goals scored with his head is no surprise, it is likely the likes of Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka would love to swing balls into the box for the Dutch striker. He provides an aerial threat, but is also a technically gifted player despite his 6’6 height, turning well on the ball with the ability to take on players.
The biggest problem for Arsenal would be his 28 years of age. This would mean investing in a player which would see little-to-no sell-on value attached and a serious fee may be needed to prize the Dutchman away from Wolfsburg.
Myron Boadu – AZ Alkmaar – Netherlands – 20 – Transfermarkt value: £13.5 million
The youngest player on our list hails from the Netherlands and plays for AZ Alkmaar. Myron Boadu is one of the young starlets of the Eredivisie coming through to challenge for a place in Frank de Boer’s Euro 2020 squad.
Boadu is a tall yet fast forward who has scored 11 goals in 22 appearances for AZ in the league this season. He is what many would describe as a poacher and loves to pop up in advantageous positions, steal balls away from defenders where possible and get on the end of low driven crosses to finish off counter attacks.
The aerial part of his game is something which certainly needs to be developed, although the opportunities made for him at AZ are not typically of this nature. Boadu is a player that could be brought in as an investment in youth in the hope he continues his development and the goals keep coming.
However, he is certainly, bar Jovic, the greatest risk of the 10 strikers covered. This is less down to his own ability and more the counter-attacking style he thrives in which may not be as frequent should he move to the Emirates. There is little to judge how he might fair in a more possession-based team.
This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.
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