A number of strikers were available to Arsene Wenger over the summer transfer window but instead he waited till the eleventh hour when he had chances to sign better striking candidates.
The summer started with much promise for Arsenal fans, with the Emirates Stadium debt almost paid off and the 9-year wait for a trophy was ended as the Gunners tasted FA Cup success at Wembley.
Jump forward three months and injuries to Arsenal’s top forward Olivier Giroud and team captain Mikel Arteta with the former being out until January and Arsenal failing to strengthen in those two areas leaves Arsene Wenger’s men looking weak.
Yes, Danny Welbeck has been brought in but there were much higher profile targets who were linked with the Gunners during the summer but were snapped up by other clubs.
The Gunners lacked a big name striker last year as they failed to register a single goal last season against Chelsea and Manchester United and all three goals against Liverpool came from midfielders. Arteta was torn apart in the big games as the pace of Liverpool and Chelsea ran riot against Arsenal. It feels as if Arsenal have never truly replaced Gilberto Silva and were made to pay last season especially against the big boys.
Among the several striker targets linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window, below are a few who gathered heavy wave of reports of a move to Arsenal at one point or the other
1. Mario Mandzukic
Mandzukic was the first striker available to Arsenal in the summer with the arrival of Lewandowski at Bayern Munich meaning the Croatian faced a season on the Munich bench. A proven goal scorer at the highest level, Mandzukic would have fitted perfectly into the Arsenal starting eleven but was snapped up by Atletico Madrid for £18million, as they looked to replace Diego Costa. £18 million was hardly out of Wenger’s price range.
2. Mario Balotelli
Balotelli was another striker strongly linked to Arsenal as well, as rumours circulated that Arsenal could use their connections with Puma to sign the former Milan man. Then out of the blue, Liverpool managed to nab the Italian striker for £16 million, the same price Wenger paid for Welbeck.
3. Loic Remy
Remy was supposedly a done deal for Arsenal and a steal at £8.5 million for a proven Premier League goal-scorer. But just minutes before Diego Costa tore apart Everton single-handley, the Frenchman had signed for Mourinho’s men for £9.5million.
4. Alessio Cerci
As Deadline day loomed another Italian forward was promptly linked; Torino’s Alessio Cerci. The Italian forward who partnered Ciro Immobile up front last season. Cerci managed 13 goals and 10 assists last season but in similar fashion to Mario Mandzukic, Atletico Madrid snapped up the Italian.
And although Alexis Sanchez has been signed, but he was not signed as top forward (even though Wenger has continued to talk about him being a top forward for the club) and cannot be expected to score 30 goals in his first season in English football, it would be unfair to expect him to do so.
Yes, Arsenal have signed Danny Welbeck, but his league goal-scoring record is poor. Last season Welbeck played 25 games and only managed 9 goals, his 2012/2013 season was even worse as he played 27 games and only found the back of the net just one time, his 2011/2012 season which he had the most league appearance so far in his Manchester United career saw him score just 9 goals in 30 games.
Personally, i’m still of the believe that the youngster will succeed at Arsenal, but many would argue this out going by the above stats.
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