It seems that if Arsenal do plan to make a summer move for the Montenegrin forward, they want to make absolutely sure they’ve got the right man first.
It’s easy to understand why. Arsene Wenger’s recent forward purchases have been somewhat hit-and-miss. Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young have both been farmed out on loan after prolonged barren spells. Gervinho continues to infuriate Arsenal fans with his inconsistency and inaccuracy in front of goal. Olivier Giroud has demonstrated his undoubted potential on several occasions but has struggled to consistently fill the void created by the departure of Robin van Persie.
This summer, Arsene Wenger cannot afford to make a mistake. Whether or not Arsenal manage to qualify for the Champions League, this season has not been good enough. Arsenal need to bring in a forward who can help turn them from also-rans to genuine contenders once again.
For all Giroud’s qualities, there is a sense that he is not a striker in the true Arsenal mould. The Frenchman is a fairly traditional target man: he is best with the ball in the air and his back to the goal. He is an atypical Arsene Wenger player; Wenger’s trophy-winning sides have tended to feature quick, mobile forwards like Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry.
Giroud represents a wonderful Plan B; Arsenal need a new Plan A.
Jovetic could be the man for that plan.
He is quick off the mark and has outstanding technique. Unlike Giroud, his game is not based on physical strength, but instinctive sprints into space and an immaculate first touch. He is comparable with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, who has flourished in the Premier League this season.
Fielding Jovetic at centre-forward would transform Arsenal’s style. His versatility means he would be able to swap out to the wings whenever required, allowing Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott to alternate through the centre, giving Arsenal a newfound unpredictability in attack.
He also has the pace to get on to through-balls from the likes of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla. Giroud prefers passes in to his head, chest or feet, but Jovetic is prepared to run in behind the defence when needed, stretching the play and creating space for others.
Of course, the wonderful thing about adding Jovetic to the Arsenal ranks is that it would allow Arsenal to switch things up and change to a front two when required. Jovetic and Giroud would make a marvellous front pairing. In certain games, Arsenal could go for a more direct system akin to that played by The Invincibles in 2004.
It remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal are prepared to break the bank to sign a player of Jovetic’s quality.
However, should the Gunners bring Jovetic in, it will transform not just their starting lineup but also their chances of winning silverware next season.