Arsenal’s striker search has heated up in the last few days with as many as four players linked with us in the past week or so. The four players are Karim Benzema, Fernando Llorente, Robert Lewandowski and Alvaro Negredo, with Benzema transfer looking the likeliest to go through at this moment.
The Gunners already have had two of their bids rejected by Real Madrid and according to reports in the Metro the North London club have put in a improved bid of £45.8 million. Benzema seems to be the man Wenger wants most with Lewandowski touted as a backup plan and with the ever increasing Llorente rumours we are heading towards an interesting last month of the transfer window.
Benzema is a hard-working and experienced French striker who has played upfront for Real Madrid for the past six seasons since joining them back in 2009. He looks to be Wenger’s favoured option as he would perfectly suit to the Arsenal way of playing in our 4-2-3-1 formation. Madrid are reluctant to sell but may be tempted into a deal if they complete their pursuit of either Dortmund forward Marco Reus or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Benzema will definitely relieve fellow countryman Giroud of the pressure he had been under being Arsenal’s lone striker over the last three seasons. The French striker will also be happy to reunite with his former Madrid teammate Mesut Ozil if he joins Arsenal. However it is always safe to have a backup plan in case of crisis and if the Benzema pursuit fails to materialize Wenger seems ready to bid for Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.
With the arrival of Brazilian forward Douglas Costa, Lewandowski’s game time will be reduced for sure and many reports have suggested that the striker is growing unhappy with life at the Munich club and Wenger would be willing to use this situation to his advantage and lure him to the Emirates if Benzema’s move fails to materialize. The Polish striker is a proven goal scorer who has excelled for both club and country. Bringing him in will give Wenger the flexibility in Arsenal’s forward line. With players like Ozil and Cazorla here ready to provide balls for the strikers to score, Lewandowski might be tempted to join Arsenal if Wenger shows interest.
The other two players who have been linked recently are two Spanish strikers Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo. Juventus striker Llorente has fallen out of favor after the arrival of Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic at the Turin club. With Morata already moving a step ahead of Llorente at the club it would be wise enough for him to pack his bags and leave in search of a new club with the EURO 2016 not very long away. This week the rumours linking Llorente with Arsenal has increased rapidly with the Express claiming that Juventus have agreed an £8.5m offer for Llorente from Arsenal. Though Wenger hasn’t commented about these rumours, bringing Llorente in would only be a temporary relief. At 30, Llorente is past his prime. He was at his best three seasons back when he was at Spanish club Bilbao and was linked with Arsenal back then as well but he chose to join Juventus instead. Signing him now can give us little flexibility maybe but it won’t be a solution for our striker crisis.
Negredo on the other hand has just now joined Spanish club Valencia on a permanent deal after an unsuccessful loan spell there last season. Manchester City were keen to offload the striker, hence the Etihad club had attached a compulsory buy at the end of loan option to his Valencia loan deal. He had a season to forget, but still Valencia had to complete the permanent deal and both parties seemed to be happy earlier in July. But now many leading Spanish websites and Sports Dailies have reported that Negredo is no longer in Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito’s plans for the coming season and will be loaned out to a Premier League club to cut down their wage structure for the season. Arsenal and Manchester United are the only Premier League clubs in need of a striker. Hence if Negredo does join the club on loan for a season he could come in handy in our cup and Champions League games considering our long season.
But as Wenger always says only time will decide the mettle of a player. The same applies for all the four strikers linked with us now. Bringing in Benzema or Lewandowski will be an upgrade on our current frontman Giroud. Llorente and Negredo can provide assistance to our other forwards on a temporary basis. With the Premier League season beginning next Sunday, Wenger would be in a spot of jeopardy as to which players to bring in. Hopefully he will take the right decision and guide us to Premier League glory in the coming season.