It is always said that the best form of defence is attack and Arsenal were found wanting in that aspect, as our failed title bid last season could be attributed to our inability to convert most of our chances.
Scoring just 59 goals in the Premier League last season was just not enough to win the title. The attack was not encouraging, as Alexis Sanchez was not as at his best and one could have easily forgotten that Olivier Giroud is a striker after playing 15 leagues without a goal.
Danny Welbeck returned to action three months before the end of the season; February, only to be sidelined again, this time for nine months, by the same knee injury that had earlier kept him out for almost six months.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger came under intense criticism from his own supporters last season. We were on course to end our 12 years wait for the league title but fell out of the race when the attack went blank.
In the light of this, Wenger is making frantic moves to bring a top-class striker to the Emirates Stadium. The capture of Granit Xhaka has provided some degree of strength and quality to the midfield, remaining is the attack and defence that needs attention.
The French coach has a number of brilliant forwards on his wish-list. There have been reports linking Arsenal with Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic but it seems interests in those players have cooled off. The focus is now on Juventus Alvaro Morata.
Each of the aforementioned forwards is brilliant in class but if I am to choose, I will go with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alvaro Morata is topping the list of strikers on Wenger’s list and a bid of £40 million is on the cards but from the look of things, the Spaniard has only managed just 12 goals in all competitions for Juventus last season—not better than Giroud’s 16 for Arsenal.
While his finishing has always been his weakness, his strength lies in creating spaces for his team-mates to exploit the opposition’s defence. As per whoscored.com, he has 14.6 per cent conversion rate in the Serie A last season – somehow low for a striker.
What Arsenal need is a natural goal-scorer, someone who can consistently find the back of the net. Mesut Ozil has the highest key passes across Europe’s top five leagues (146) and the most clear cut chances (28) in the league but registered just 19 leagues assists because the chances were not converted.
Ibrahimovic scored 42 goals in 46 appearances for PSG last season and at 34 and he is not showing any signs of ageing. He has a pedigree of winning the league title right from his first season in any league and with Wenger having just a year left on his contract and his desire to lift the much-coveted trophy again before he probably bows out, the Swedish striker might be the answer to his prayer.
However, the chances of securing the signature of the former Inter Milan and Barcelona player is very slim. At the same time £40 million for Morata seems over the odds.