It is hardly a secret that Arsenal have been on the lookout for a “world-class” center forward for some time. The Gunners made an approach for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, an the ideal reinforcement for Arsene Wenger’s club, during the summer; however, Real Madrid subsequently rejected the north London club’s offer.
Instead of possibly bringing in a lesser player, Wenger decided to stick with his current crop of forwards. While Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have performed well enough for the Gunners to be near the top of the Premier League (12 total goals between the two), Wenger will most likely look to the January transfer market to possible add another forward.
Along with Giroud and Walcott (the latter is currently injured and is said to return at the end of the month), Arsenal also have England international Danny Welbeck, who has not featured since April due to a knee injury but return in January. In the interim, Costa Rica international Joel Campbell has been given his chance to shine, but the 23-year-old hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, and he could even leave the Emirates should the club dip into the transfer market in January.
With Campbell possibly out, Wenger will likely renew his search for a top center forward. While Benzema or Paris Saint-Germain’s Edison Cavani would be perfect fits, it is extremely difficult to pry a major talent away from another top club, especially midseason. There is, however, a lesser known player that could potentially give the Gunners a boost up front and also be available for a January transfer. Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi may not be a household name just yet, but he is certainly a star in the making.
The 22-year-old Belgian international has already racked up eight Ligue 1 goals this season, second most in the French top flight. A prototypical center forward, Batshuayi is lethal with both feet, possessing a healthy combination of pace and power and the type of solid vision that has produced three league assists, as well.
Comparing him to other Ligue 1 strikers, Batshuayi has scored more goals and collected more assists this season than Cavani as well as Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. He’s also created more chances than PSG’s duo of Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
If there is one aspect of Batshuayi’s game that needs improving it is his aerial abilities. The Marseille man only wins 32% of his aerial duals during league play.
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Marseille club president Vincent Labrune has recently stated a price that could seal a deal for his young star: “Any club interested in having Michy Batshuayi services will have to pay €35 million (£24.5 million). “Right now he is one of the most closely watched market players.”
While Batshuayi could be a fantastic addition to this Arsenal team, the Gunners will reportedly have to duke it out with Chelsea and Valencia to sign the young Belgian, provided they decide to enter January’s market.