Arsenal’s season is chugging to an end in customary fashion – a Champions League berth has been sealed while a title challenge never really materialised. There is, however, an FA Cup final on the horizon and a chance to sign off their season with a trophy.
But success against Aston Villa later this month will mask their inefficiencies in the final third of the pitch, so what potential summer signings can give them the cutting edge required to hunt down Chelsea and Manchester City in the league next term?
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud have been influential at times but here are five top strikers that could make the crucial difference:
Jackson Martinez –
The 28 year-old Colombian striker is a proven finisher and has enjoyed a wonderful season with Porto where he has notched 21 league goals in 29 appearances and scored 8 European goals in 10 matches – an impressive return from a striker at the top of his game.
Martinez is a powerful forward with a lethal instinct for goal that might put Olivier Giroud to shame. He is consistently among the goals having scored an incredible 92 in 132 appearances during his time in Portugal. The only concern, though, is how he would adapt to the Premier League – otherwise Martinez ticks every box.
In contrast, Arsenal may opt for a youthful striker with bags of potential – in this case Villarreal forward Luciano Vietto would fit the bill perfectly. The 21 year-old Argentine has been compared to Sergio Aguero due to his movement and finishing abilities.
Vietto has enjoyed a fruitful season for Villarreal and Wenger already has a good relationship with the hierarchy at the La Liga club after signing Gabriel Paulista during the January transfer window.
However it would be too much to expect the arrival of the young Argentine to help Arsenal deliver the title in his first season in English football and for that reason alone Wenger should be concentrating on players who can make an immediate impact.
The iconic French striker needs no introduction. Karim Benzema is without doubt one of the world’s most sought after strikers having scored 87 goals in 188 appearances for Real Madrid. And there have been murmurs that the 27 year-old frontman could be moved on this summer as uncertainty clouds the Madrid club.
Carlo Ancelotti looks a dead man walking after a disappointing season, while the club may want to cash in on Benzema to finance the cosmetic surgery the team requires.
He would bring the finishing touch Arsenal have craved this season, while his work rate and harassing of the opposition ensures the team defends from the front. Benzema should be Wenger’s number one target.
The Lyon academy have produced another gem of a striker in Alexandre Lacazette; his performances and goals have set Ligue 1 alight this season and a summer move to a top European side beckons.
The 23 year-old has exploded into life with 31 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions, unfortunately, from a Lyon point of view, it wasn’t enough to win the title but he has nevertheless had an excellent season.
Lacazette has represented France at every level and will be hoping to partner Benzema upfront when France host the Euro’s next year. A stumbling block, however, could be the fee – a figure in the region of £40-50m should be enough to seal his signature.
The Napoli striker seems to have been around for an age but the 27 year-old still has plenty to offer at the top level and would be an interesting signing for Arsenal. His finishing and movement is top quality which negates his lack of pace when compared, for example, with Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Higuain pretty much guarantees a goal every two games and is no stranger to pressure having played almost 200 games for Real Madrid and scoring over 100 goals in the process.
He is also comfortable leading the line for club and country – but there have been criticisms of his contributions when playing the top sides in world football. A point in case would be the glorious chance he spurned in the World Cup final against Germany with the scores level at 0-0.
Arsenal fans would surely welcome his arrival in North London but he doesn’t feel like a traditional Wenger signing.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.