Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Must Resist Spending £30M on Stevan Jovetic

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 23, 2013

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

Arsenal and Stevan Jovetic is the transfer rumor of the century, with The Telegraph among many to have reported the Gunners' interest in the Fiorentina man.

Not because's it's that great of a deal, but because it's what we've been hearing for several weeks now as the summer transfer window rapidly approaches.

Trust me, I've written about it that much to know how a big transfer rumor it is.

And for the most part, it's a deal that makes sense.

Arsenal are in need of a new striker to partner with Olivier Giroud and they finally have a decent transfer budget to play with this offseason. Moreover, Jovetic isn't playing Champions League football next season and has shown himself to be a good striker throughout this career so far—making him worth a fair bit of money, but not so much that the Gunners can't afford to grab him.

He's also not that much of a bargain either, so clubs around the world aren't going to be battling the Gunners to try and sign him—which is a plus for Arsenal.

As a football writer—but even just as a fan—it's easy to see how this deal fits.

But fits doesn't necessarily mean works.

And in the case of Jovetic and Arsenal, just because the Gunners need a striker and Jovetic is, well, a striker, doesn't mean he makes a great transfer target this summer—especially in the light of Fiorentina's current asking price.

Just because there's a transfer rumor surrounding Arsenal and a striker doesn't mean that Arsene Wenger should be forced to pull the trigger—especially if it's not the best deal for the club.

Part of the problem with not winning trophies is the animosity that's grown towards Wenger's lack of spending. With news of a strong budget this year, there's a great desire to ensure that the money is spent, and while I don't disagree with that for a minute, what I am saying is that Arsenal cannot afford to over-spend on their big-name signing this summer. 

Given the state of Arsenal's Premier League rivals and the squads they're developing or have developed, the Gunners cannot afford to get their biggest summer signing wrong. They cannot afford to fall behind any further than they already have and so their summer signing must be the right guy and for the right price.

That might sound like a tangent, but it's important. So often we think that the priority should be to spend, when it really should be to spend effectively.

That must be the focus of Arsenal's summer—effective spending.

Anyway, back to Jovetic.

With all of that in mind, Jovetic then becomes the biggest question mark for the Gunners this summer. As their No. 1 transfer target—and certainly their most-talked-about target this summer—Jovetic is seemingly the most likely player for Arsenal to buy.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Jovetic and I think he would be great. I've written about him and Arsenal countless times (it really is countless) and I genuinely think that this would be a good deal for Arsenal to make. But there's a catch—and it comes as part of that effective spending idea.

Arsenal should not be spending more than £20 million on Jovetic.

I know they have all this money there and Jovetic is good, but he's not worth more than £20 million. The Gunners shouldn't pay any more than that.

Seriously. He's not worth it.

Last season, Jovetic netted 13 goals in 31 Serie A appearances. Break down his numbers further—as Transfermarkt did—and that equates to a goal every 192 minutes.

Every 192 minutes Jovetic found the back of the net this season—and that was when he was the sole option in attack. Imagine how those numbers would drop were he to partner Giroud, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla in attack, where he wouldn't be the sole goal-scoring option.

Some will perhaps want to say that those numbers don't reflect Jovetic's true worth, and that he had better seasons previously. But again, look at the numbers, and then compare that to the striker options that Arsenal already have in their squad.

Jovetic is no better—or worse—than anything the Gunners already have.

Player 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11
Stevan Jovetic 223 mins/goal 180 mins/goal 199 mins/goal
Theo Walcott 148 mins/goal 312 mins/goal 212 mins/goal
Olivier Giroud 158 mins/goal 151 mins/goal 248 mins/goal
Lukas Podolski 180 mins/goal 175 mins/goal 224 mins/goal

(It's also worth noting that Jovetic was injured for the entire 2010-11 season, and did not play a single minute of Serie A football for Fiorentina that year).

Looking at those statistics, the question must be as to why Jovetic is worth anything more than Walcott, Giroud or Podolski. Few would say that those three would fetch well over £20 million if they were put on the transfer market, so why is Jovetic worth so much more?

The answers aren't that forthcoming for the Montenegro international.

Jovetic is good with the ball with his feet, as we've noted before, but he's not Cazorla in terms of his dribbling. He's not anywhere the class of Giroud in the air and he's not the clinical finisher that Walcott has shown to be this year—nor does he provide the assist-levels of the Englishman.

Jovetic—as good as he is—is not the clinical striker that Arsenal are looking for this summer, and he should be treated as such how much money they offer him.

The Daily Mirror reports that Jovetic is going to cost Arsenal around £30 million to sign him. Fiorentina don't want to part ways with him (obviously) and so they've stuck a huge price tag on him to try and ward off any interest. And despite how tempting it might be for Arsenal, they must avoid paying giving into that interest if it's going to cost them that much to sign him.

He's not worth £30 million, and Arsenal could quickly find that out the hard way.

I've made no secret of the fact that I like Jovetic going to Arsenal.

I think he would be a great complement to their attack, I think he can handle the physical game of the Premier League and I think that purchasing him is a good signal to send to the fans that Arsenal are serious about winning titles once more.

Having said all of that, however, I also think he's being terribly overvalued.

I think that if Arsenal can't get him for less than £20 million, they need to look elsewhere. For there is absolutely no way in the world that Jovetic—with his history and previous performances—is anywhere near as good as Robin van Persie when he left the Emirates last summer for £24 million.

Arsenal need a clinical goalscorer who's worth big money this summer.

But Stevan Jovetic, as good as he is, isn't that guy.

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