Arsenal Transfer Rumors: What Makes Gunners Target Adrian Lopez so Special

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - MAY 09:  Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid is challenged by Inigo Perez of Athletic Bilbao during the UEFA Europa League Final between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at the National Arena on May 9, 2012 in Bucharest, Romania.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It's no secret that Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez has been a target of Arsenal's—or at least a rumored target of Arsenal's (per the Daily Mirror)—for several months now. 

The 25-year-old forward has a £14 million buy-out clause in his contract, though it remains to be seen if Arsenal will indeed trigger that clause, seeing as Lopez hasn't exactly been in sparkling form this season.

But the Gunners should make this move—Lopez is the perfect fit for the team.

A quick, highly skilled and creative playmaker, he makes incisive runs and always seems to find himself in dangerous positions in the box. He can take players one-on-one with his dribbling skills and he is capable of letting it rip from range and finding the back of the net.

Lopez is particularly dangerous on the counter-attack, where he uses his speed to run in behind defenders and his class on the ball to dribble himself into positions where he can slot home easy goals. 

Plus, at Arsenal he would be particularly versatile, able to play all three forward positions in Arsene Wenger's 4-3-3 (or 4-2-3-1, as it has resembled of late).

And while he isn't a dangerous aerial player or the sort of big, physical forward who will hold up play, he is a different type of striker than what the team has in Olivier Giroud, which would give the Gunners very good balance at the position.

Sure, you might be thinking to yourselves, if I wanted a quick forward that almost plays like a False 9 and gives the team a nice counterbalance to Giroud at striker, couldn't I just play Theo Walcott there more consistently?

Yes, you could, though I would argue Lopez is a more natural goalscorer. Plus, even if Walcott proves to be the better player centrally, Lopez can always be played as a winger the majority of the time. Are you really going to complain if Gervinho sees his playing time diminish?

The other concern with Lopez has been his form this season. After scoring 18 goals in 55 total appearances for Atletico Madrid last season, he has just three goals in 26 appearances this year. He's only started seven league games for the team.

But hey, how many players in the world would be cutting into Radamel Falcao's playing time this year? Lopez hasn't been at his best, sure, but Falcao's been so brilliant there's really no chance Lopez will see much playing time centrally.

And with Lopez out of contract this season, it seems highly likely he'll be moving on. Arsenal would be wise to trigger that £14 million buy-out clause and strike while he is still available.

He's young, fast, perfectly fits Wenger's system and gives the team a whole slew of options at the forward positions. This could end up being another underrated but ultimately excellent signing for the Gunners.


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