Arsenal’s striker search over the last couple of years has been widely publicized. Last summer, the Gunners failed in their attempt to pry Karim Benzema away from Real Madrid. Not only did the north London outfit lose out on their number one summer target, but it seemed as if the club did not necessarily have a contingency plan. Nevertheless, Arsenal finished second in the Premier League table, but scored the fewest goals out of the top four teams in the standings (65).
While the Gunners have been ascending the league table over the last three seasons, the achilles heal for the team appears to be at the center forward position. Although Olivier Giroud has been a very capable center forward since his arrival from Montpellier in 2012, Arsenal have found it difficult to bag goals when Giroud is out of form. Theo Walcott is more of wide player and Danny Welbeck has missed a total of 48 matches due to injury over the last two campaigns.
Manager Arsene Wenger has already attempted to bring in Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy earlier this summer; however, that proposed deal fell through as the England international opted to remain with the current Premier League champions. This year, however, Wenger seems to have a plan B.
According to reports, the Arsenal manager has already met with representatives of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku while Wenger was in France for the EURO 2016 tournament. Both strikers are highly-rated and either would be a welcomed addition to the current Arsenal squad. Lacazette is a pacey forward with a deadly goalscoring record in France, while Lukaku is more of a physically imposing center forward (much in the similar fashion as Giroud).
Lacazette would most likely attract a fee of around £40 million, and while Everton have previously slapped a £65 million price tag on Lukaku, it is thought that the Toffees could perhaps accept about £40 million for the Belgian. There are, however, problems with both players. Lyon’s president, Jean Michel Aulas, has recently stated that the player will remain with the club and it has also been reported that Lukaku could defy all of the odds and sign a new contract with Everton this summer.
If true, and the Gunners miss out on both Lacazette and Lukaku, Wenger may have to go to plan D in his striker search. This scenario could include Alvaro Morata. The now Real Madrid player (once again) remains keen on playing for the Spanish giants, however, the 23-year-old also wants to be the first choice striker with the team. With Benzema still with Los Blancos, Morata may have to find a new club (once again) if he wants an ample amount of playing time.
Real Madrid have recently spent £23 million just to get Morata back from Juventus and are thought to be asking nearly double that fee if any team wants the Spain international in their squad. Wenger has been a fan of Morata for some time now, but it remains to be seen if the Frenchman would be willing to meet Real’s asking price for the 23-year-old striker. However, reports from the Mirror suggest that the Gunners are willing to put Morata on a £144,000 per week pay scale, making him one of the most highest-paid player in the entire team. Whatever Arsenal decides to do, they cannot go into the 2016/17 season without bringing in a top striker.
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