Arsenal Transfer Rumors: 10 Strikers Linked with the Gunners

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2012

Arsenal Transfer Rumors: 10 Strikers Linked with the Gunners

0 of 10

    Arsenal slumped to a disappointing defeat against Swansea in an entertaining game and it has made their task of finishing in the top four even harder. The Gunners, who had had a good spell in the months of October and November, have been hit hard by the away defeats at Fulham and Swansea. With many difficult games yet to come in this season, they will need to be at their best if they are to finish in the top four.

    Arsene Wenger is a manager who has achieved plenty of success at Arsenal but he has received plenty of criticism regarding the Gunners' performances, especially in the last couple of seasons. The Arsenal manager has made many astute acquisitions in the past which have been very important to their success. This January transfer window is an important time for the Gunners, as they look to strengthen their team because they face immense competition for the Champions League places.

    With Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh leaving for the African Cup of Nations, Wenger has signed Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on a loan deal from New York Red Bulls. However, Arsenal also need to add a quality striker to their ranks for the full season and could look for a permanent signing. Here are 10 strikers who have been linked with a January move to the Emirates.

Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne)

1 of 10

    Germany striker Lukas Podolski could be one of the main striker targets for the Gunners considering that he will be available at a relatively decent price and, also, he could be the quality striker that the Gunners require. The big advantage with Podolski is that he could play on the left as well which means that it is possible to accommodate both Robin van Persie and him in the same lineup.

    Also, he is in excellent goal-scoring form for his club, FC Cologne, and could make a huge impact for Arsenal if he is signed in January. However, the problem which they could encounter is whether or not Podolski is willing to move in January especially when the Euro 2012 tournament is in the summer. He will not want to risk his chance by moving to a new club, especially when he is in such excellent form.

Moussa Sow (Lille)

2 of 10

    Moussa Sow has been one of the best French strikers in the past year and has been very prolific for Lille. He has been integral to Lille and played a major role in their title success in the previous season. The Senegal international has the physical ability to cope with the physicality of the Premiership and could be a very useful player for a Premier League team if they do sign him.

    Lille would be reluctant to sell him considering the fact that they have already sold important players like Yohan Cabaye and Gervinho in the previous year. However, if the player is intent on moving and Arsenal do offer the right money, there exists the possibility of him moving to a big Premiership club in January.

Alvaro Moratta (Real Madrid)

3 of 10

    Real Madrid's young striker Alvaro Morata is apparently a transfer target for the Gunners in the January transfer window for a loan move. It will be quite surprising if they do look to sign a youngster on a loan deal considering that Arsenal have the funds to bring in a new striker permanently and, also, it is doubtful whether Morata can make a great impact in only six months at the club considering that he will only be the backup striker to Robin van Persie.

    The only explanation that one can think of is that he could be a decent backup for the rest of this season and then, Arsenal would probably have the option of utilizing Joel Campbell if he does secure his work permit. Even then, a club of the stature of Arsenal should probably look for experienced quality players to strengthen their team.

Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)

4 of 10

    Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou is another striker who has been linked with a move to the Emirates in the January transfer window. The Chelsea striker has not been a regular for the Blues in the last couple of seasons and could look for more playing time. He does have the ability to score goals but is not the quality striker that Arsenal need this season.

    With his contract ending in the summer, it is very likely that Chelsea will look to agree a deal involving less transfer fee but the question is whether Kalou will want to move in January. He will probably get a better deal with regard to wages if he moves on a free transfer. However, there is still a chance that Arsenal could be interested in him and it would be a good move for the striker, though the Arsenal fans would certainly question the club's ambition if he is their only signing.

Hugo Rodallega (Wigan Athletic)

5 of 10

    Wigan Athletic striker Hugo Rodallega is another player who has been linked with a January move to the Emirates and at this stage, it is neither close nor can it be ruled out, remaining only speculation. The Colombia striker has suffered from a lot of injuries and has not been a regular for Wigan this season. However, he has completely recovered and is vital to the Latics as they are involved in another relegation battle.

    With Rodallega in the final year of his contract, it is probable that there will be approaches from other clubs as well. It could be a decent move for the Gunners as he would not take much time to adjust to Arsenal considering that he has played a lot in the Premiership, and he will be available at a relatively lower price.

    Also, his arrival could trigger the departure of Marouane Chamakh who has not been in form for the Gunners in the past year.

Alexandre Pato

6 of 10

    Alexandre Pato is a very talented Brazilian striker who has not been in good form for AC Milan. The Brazilian international was linked with a move to Paris St. Germain to join with Carlo Ancelotti, who was earlier his manager at Milan but he opted to stay at AC Milan by rejecting the French club. His decision to stay at Milan also meant that the Italian champions could not proceed with their proposed move for Carlos Tevez.

    Arsenal have been linked with the AC Milan striker and he could be an excellent signing for the Gunners, as he is undoubtedly a player with a lot of talent. Also, Wenger has been instrumental in several players recapturing their form after having tough spells at some of their earlier clubs, and Pato could develop into a world-class striker under the Frenchman if he does sign for Arsenal.

Leandro Damiao (Internacional)

7 of 10

    Leandro Damiao is one of the best talents currently playing in Brazil and has been very prolific for his club. His performances at club level has enabled him to receive a call-up to the Brazilian national team as well, and he is considered to be one of the future stars for country. Damiao possesses good physical strength along with excellent technical ability and an eye for goal which is why he has been successful for Internacional.

    He has been tracked by many clubs around the world and Arsenal are one of the clubs who have been linked with him. Though he will not be available at a cheap price, it might be an astute move by Wenger even if he has to pay above €20 million. Wenger needs to reinforce his squad because of injuries and the immense competition to finish in the Champions League places, and Damiao would be an excellent addition for the future as well.

Matias Suarez (Anderlecht)

8 of 10

    Arsenal have also been linked with Anderlecht striker Matias Suarez, who is considered to be one of the most exciting talents in the world. He has been impressive for his club and the striker has not only scored goals but also provides creativity to the team. Suarez is highly rated and the Belgian club, who sold Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in the summer, will be keen to hold on to him.

    Also, the Gunners will have to fight out competition from Turkish club Galatasaray, who have confirmed their interest in the striker. It will be difficult to sign the player but the Gunners will hope that the player considers Arsenal to be a club where he can develop into a world-class player.

Oliver Giroud (Montpellier)

9 of 10

    Olivier Giroud is one of the best strikers in the French league and has been consistently scoring goals in the last couple of seasons. The French striker has been integral to Montpellier's performances this season and they will be very reluctant to lose the striker. Premier League teams Newcastle United and Arsenal have been linked with a move for the striker but with Newcastle signing Papiss Cisse, it is unlikely that they will target another forward.

    However, with Giroud on a long-term contract at Montpellier, the club is unlikely to sell at a low price and are demanding a huge price for the striker. With Robin van Persie in such sensational form and Arsenal employing a single-striker formation, it is unlikely that Wenger will spend a lot of money on a centre forward who is not comfortable playing wide or in any other position.

John Guidetti (Feyenoord)

10 of 10

    John Guidetti is a very talented striker currently playing for Dutch club Feyenoord and is on loan from Manchester City. Guidetti, who also had a loan stint at Burnley, has been very impressive for the Dutch club and has been consistent in scoring goals for the club. The 19-year-old striker is highly rated and it would be no surprise if he does attract attention. With many top-quality strikers like Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero at the club, it would be quite difficult for the youngster to break into the side.

    Arsenal are a club which has been linked with a move for the striker and it could also be a good move for the youngster considering that Wenger has been instrumental in developing several youngsters. However, the problem for Arsenal is that Manchester City will be reluctant to sell a quality youngster like Guidetti to a Premiership rival.