There is no secret that Arsenal’s forwards currently have a scoring problem.
After all, the Gunners have managed just 21 goals in 16 Premier League matches so far this season. As of now, the club possesses two high-profile strikers up front.
However, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appear on the rumor mill as potential departures from the Emirtates. Lacazette’s current contract is ending in the summer, and Aubameyang was recently stripped of his captaincy and is supposedly open to a move away from the Emirates.
Whether Arsenal make a move for a new striker in January or the summer, reinforcements in this position is clearly a top priority. Listed below are five potential options for manager Mikel Arteta and the Gunners.
Arsenal’s potential forwards via the transfer market
Undoubtedly, Arsenal’s number one choice for a center forward in either January or the summer is Dusan Vlahovic.
The problem for the Gunners is that Vlahovic is every team’s top pick for a new striker. Media outlets link the current Fiorentina forward to Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona and pretty much any team in need of a young, promising forward. Competition, as well as the player’s preference, could prevent Arsenal from getting their man.
We have seen that this new regime can spend money, but clubs like Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and PSG are tough to beat when they get involved in transfers.
The Serbia international has been a goal machine over the last calendar year. Since December 15th, 2020, Vlahovic has scored an astounding 37 goals in just 46 total matches for Fiorentina. The combination of his goal record and the fact that he’s just 21 makes for plenty of gossip surrounding his future. Vlahovic will almost certainly depart Florence at some point in 2022.
However, Arsenal need some luck to land the striker ahead of other clubs.
If Vlahovic is Arsenal’s top target, Jonathan David could very well be their plan B. The Lille forward is currently leading Ligue 1 with 11 goals during the current campaign. Also just 21, David has managed to score 24 French league goals in just 55 matches since his arrival from Gent in 2020.
Able to play at the center forward position or as a second striker, the Canada international is a very dynamic player. Along with scoring goals, he also passes well and even helps out in defense with pressures that potentially lead to turnovers. Certainly, Arteta and the Arsenal will be aware of David’s ability outside of scoring goals.
As with everyone else on this list, the Gunners will have competition in their striker search. Liverpool, PSG, and West Ham share interest in David. Previously, the Canadian spoke of his dreams Although David as previously stated that he grew up dreaming of a move to Arsenal or Barcelona. If the Gunners miss out on Vlahovic, David could be a decent, and cheaper, alternative with a market value of about $40 million.
A move from one Premier League side to another is a polarizing option for Arteta and company.
Arsenal fans appear to be split on the possibility of Calvert-Lewin being a Aubameyang or Lacazette replacement. Those against the move point out Calvert-Lewin’s failure to be a true ‘elite’ goal-scorer. For instance, the England international failed to score more than 16 league goals in a season. Moreover, he is not quite as technically gifted as other potential options.
Nevertheless, Calvert-Lewin is still just 24. He is far removed from the player in danger of earning more yellow cards than scoring goals. The current Everton forward managed to score 19 Premier League goals in his last 36 appearances.
Calvert-Lewin would give the Gunners a formidable presence inside the box with his aerial ability and poacher mentality. However, the 6’2 target man may not be a good fit with Arteta’s preferred playing style. Arsenal have a more active, fluid style going forward. Currently, Arsenal ranks 17th in crosses into the box so far this season in the Premier League.
Alexander Isak burst on to the scene as the successor to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Sweden. However, some critics peggded him as a flop as he failed to impress at Borussia Dortmund.
Even then, his time at Real Sociedad proved to be a revelation for the now-22-year-old striker. Since the start of the 2020/21 season, Isak scored 20 goals in 48 LaLiga fixtures. Not a world-beater output, but it shows significant potential. Although he is scoring below expected this season, Isak possesses a rare combination of size, 6’4, and pace. He has just three league goals in 17 games this season for Real Sociedad.
In spite of his lackluster start to the current campaign, Arteta and the Arsenal front office tend to see out players for their potential. Potential is something ever-present in Isak. As is the case with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, questions of a potential fit with Arsenal could be raised. Yet, the 22-year-old striker is certainly talented, and his addition would be a welcome one among Arsenal’s forwards.
The Gunners could face competition from Liverpool and Spurs, among others, in approaching Isak in 2022.
Of all the players to possibly join Arsenal’s forwards, Joao Felix seems the most like a wild card.
Undeniably, Felix is one of the most-talented young players in all of Europe. Gifted with footwork and intelligence with passing, his fit with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid seems confusing. Simeone is one that does not seek out creativity, more so out-and-out defense into attack.
Statistically speaking, Felix never really racked up the goals and assists many predicted during his time in Spain. Regardless, Felix is not a typical center forward. In fact, he can mold into different attacking positions. That could be up front alone or as a second striker or occupying the flanks. We all know how much Arteta likes versatile players to fit the passing style of play.
The only issue with a potential deal for Felix would be competition. Much like Vlahovic, Felix would be wanted by most of the big clubs around Europe. In fact, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Liverpool all have interest in signing the 22-year-old. Felix’s mammoth player wages potentially would not be much of an issue assuming the Gunners move on from Aubameyang.
A lot would have to happen for Arsenal to land Felix, but he should be near the top of Arteta’s wish list for Arsenal’s forwards.
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