Arsenal impressed the Premier League when they finalised the deal for Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez last week. It’s a deal that seems them boast a mightily impressive midfield but perhaps a lacking front-line. With Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud criticised heavily at points last season, do Arsenal still need another striker?
Some Arsenal fans will say no to a deal for Milan’s Mario Balotelli or Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, the players they have been linked with. Why is that? Well Wenger will play one striker up-front, Olivier Giroud started last season very strongly and despite tailing off at the end of the campaign did net 16 league goals which isn’t a bad total at all. Lucas Podolski also isn’t particularly goal shy but maybe has struggled to adapt fully to the Premier League, perhaps his time will come. Others will call for Joel Campbell to be given a chance. Campbell was Costa Rica’s forward in the 2014 World Cup and won some followers who will glady snap him up if Wenger lets him go. After a few seasons out on loan, maybe it is his chance to have a shot at the Premier League. The club also have a 21 year old Frenchman called Yaya Sanogo who will continue to mature as he grows at the club following 14 appearances in all competitions last year. Is it worth paying out a large fee for a player that could flop whilst Sanchez could play through the middle and even if not he still scores plenty.
However, I think most Arsenal fans would be very happy to add either Balotelli or Bony to their ranks this window. Arsenal only could manage 4th last season and were overtaken by Liverpool; this is despite leading the title race longer than any other club. Did failure to add a striker cost them the chance at the league? With a lot of games ahead, any strength in depth in beneficial, particularly a strong brute like Bony who would add something different to Giroud or Podolski. The alternatives in Campbell and Sanogo are two unproven Premier League youngsters. Campbell only scored 8 times for Olympiacos in the Superleague whilst Sanogo didn’t find the net once. With the threat that Giroud could start misfiring like the end of the campaign and Podolski still doesn’t find his feet then the lack of a deal could be very costly.
This coming race for the Champions League will be intriguing, Liverpool could challenge for the league again, Manchester City and Chelsea will definitely be up there and Manchester United look set to fight once more under Van Gaal. Tottenham and Everton have every chance at pushing Arsenal so even with Sanchez it could be vital the North-Londoners increase their fire-power. What will Arsene Wenger do?
By Gareth Thomas | July 18th, 2014