Arsenal Transfer News: Pursuit of Adrian Lopez over David Villa Is Right Move

Chris HummerAnalyst IDecember 22, 2012

MONACO - AUGUST 31: Ramires of Chelsea in action with Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Louis II Stadium on August 31, 2012 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal squad sit in a tie for third on the Premier League table. However, the Gunners are a distant third behind the Manchester clubs, City and United.

The Gunners are in need of some striking assistance to scale the gap, and it seems that Wenger is poking around for a transfer, likely to take place in early January.  

He's looking in high places, too.

It's been rumored that the Gunners are in hot pursuit of Barcelona striker David Villa, one of the most explosive players in the world.

However, it seems that Wenger is also exploring younger and cheaper options. Notably, Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez, a player that has been dubbed as a young version of Villa in Spain.

While it would be exciting for Arsenal to add a prolific scorer like Villa, it makes more sense for the club to make Lopez its No. 1 priority.

The 31-year-old Villa would cost the Gunners $12 million, plus his $100,000-a-week salary.

Lopez, on the other hand, comes at a much cheaper price. Lopez's buyout clause is nearly $15 million, but the 24-year-old’s salary demands are much lower.

And when you consider the pair's production, it makes considerably more economic sense for the Gunners to go with Lopez.

In 2011-12, Villa netted 11 goals for Barcelona versus the 19 scores Lopez notched for Atletico. While it's a bit unfair to compare the two directly—Villa's competition was tougher and he played in considerably less games due to injury—Lopez still had a very comparable season to the Spanish star.

Plus, Villa, at 31 years old, has injury concerns, especially after his battle with a broken leg for much of last season.

Lopez is younger, cheaper and almost as potent. His addition just makes more sense for Arsenal short and long term.