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Why Arsenal Should Do Everything Possible to Sign Stevan Jovetic This Summer

PESCARA, ITALY - MAY 19:  Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina after the Serie A match between Pescara and ACF Fiorentina at Adriatico Stadium on May 19, 2013 in Pescara, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2013

On May 19, as Arsenal prepared to face Newcastle in what had essentially become a playoff for Champions League qualification, Stevan Jovetic’s Fiorentina side were facing their own judgement day.

The Viola were also hoping to qualify for Europe’s elite competition and held up their own end of the bargain with a thumping victory over Pescara. Jovetic himself scored with a neat finish and also claimed an assist.

However, Vincenzo Montella’s side were foiled by rivals AC Milan. A Mario Balotelli penalty helped ensure the Rossoneri qualified at Fiorentina’s expense.

Stevan Jovetic is a player with the class to grace the Champions League. If he is to do that now, he’ll have to leave Florence.

Arsenal has long been mooted as a potential destination, with Italian paper La Stampa claiming that interest has formalised into a €28 million bid (via Football Italia). Recently, however, a rival has appeared on the scene, with The Independent suggesting that Jovetic is also attracting interest from Juventus.

Fiorentina’s sporting director, Daniel Prade, admitted to Tuttosport after the match with Pescara that Jovetic’s future is due to be discussed with the club’s president Andrea Della Valle (via The Independent):

Is this his last game with us? Never say never.

We will give a response only after a meeting between the player and Della Valle. Juventus still have not asked us about Jovetic.

For all Fiorentina’s posturing, there are bound to be private concerns that keeping Jovetic may have become impossible. The lure of Champions League football may prove too great.

Jovetic now needs Arsenal, and Arsenal certainly need him.

All of Arsene Wenger’s most successful teams have had a talismanic striker. Ian Wright was succeeded by Nicolas Anelka. Anelka was then replaced with the greatest striker in Arsenal’s history: Thierry Henry.

Since Henry’s departure, trophies have proved harder to come by, but Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie have shone fleetingly.

Olivier Giroud does not appear to be in that class. His first season in English football was littered with inconsistent finishing. He is a good centre-forward, but not one likely to win the same plaudits as Henry or Van Persie.

It took Arsenal 12 months to replace Cesc Fabregas. They waited until they could get their man, with Santi Cazorla eventually arriving from Malaga to take on Fabregas’ role as playmaker.

Perhaps 12 months after losing Robin van Persie, Arsenal are now preparing to bite the bullet and bring in the world-class striker required to replace him.

Jovetic has all the attributes required to flourish in the Premier League. He is powerfully built, moves with intelligence and finishes calmly.

Signing him would immediately improve the Arsenal team, but it’d also make a statement. Not since the arrival of Andrey Arshavin in February 2009 have Arsenal broken their transfer record to acquire one of the big-name stars of European football. Buying Jovetic would buck the trend and raise the bar.

Jovetic would bring glamour to the Emirates Stadium once more. In exchange, Arsenal could offer him the glamour of Champions League football. 

It’s a move that ought to prove hugely beneficial to both parties.

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