Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Should Give Up on Pursuit of Stevan Jovetic

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2013

FLORENCE, ITALY - FEBRUARY 17:  Stevan Jovetic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 17, 2013 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

One of the best things that could happen to Arsenal this summer is they lose out on Stevan Jovetic.

The Gunners have been linked to the Fiorentina striker for a little while now. The tables seemed to have turned, as it looks like the move might not come to fruition after all.

The Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel reported Arsenal didn't meet Fiorentina's fee for the player:

Arsenal's move for Stevan Jovetic is at breaking point after refusing to meet Fiorentina's £25million asking price.

Talks between both clubs have been ongoing for a number of weeks after Arsene Wenger made Jovetic his No 1 striker target.

But the deal has hit a major stumbling block, with the Serie A club refusing to take anything lower than their valuation.

Gunners chiefs have told Fiorentina they are only willing to pay £20million to sign the Montenegro striker.

And there is a growing feeling among the Arsenal hierarchy that Juventus are now ahead of them in the race to land Jovetic.

CNN's Italian sports expert Tancredi Palmeri reported Jovetic "turned down" the Gunners' contract offer:

World football writer Adam Digby also reported earlier in May Jovetic's preference would be to stay in Italy:

Juventus may have taken themselves out of the race after only offering €16 million plus Luca Marrone (h/t Palmeri):

Of course, plenty of things could change between now and August.

If anything, Arsenal should be thankful should they miss out on Jovetic. It may sound foolish, but the striker is a gamble the Gunners can't take right now.

Prior to around the 2010/11 season, the biggest knock on Robin van Persie was that he couldn't stay healthy. He had—and still does have—a prodigious amount of talent, yet he couldn't stay on the pitch for a full season.

When he finally got healthy, RVP was arguably the best player in the Premier League. But his durability came out of the blue. There was really nothing that would have led you to believe he could play a full season.

Now the club is prepared to buy a striker who's had injury problems while at Fiorentina. This past season was the first in which Jovetic managed to play in more than 30 league matches. It's not a guarantee that he will remain relatively healthy should he move to the Emirates.

When he's on the pitch, there's no doubting Jovetic's talent. He's gotten 27 goals and 11 assists over the last two seasons in Serie A. Jovetic can score goals and also set his teammates up to score when they're in a better position. That's a nice combo to have in an attacker.

But all that talent is reliant on Jovetic actually staying on the pitch.

He's just a little over 6'0". As a smaller player, he could have a bit of trouble adjusting to the physicality of the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Juan Mata have all demonstrated that you don't need size to make it in England. The trio has also had a run of poor form as they looked to have worn down as the season went on.

They grew used to the kind of physical play and absorbed the punishment. Coming in, they were slightly more durable than Jovetic, though, with each player having appeared 30-plus matches multiple times in their respective leagues before moving to England.

The £22million to £25 million for Jovetic is not worth the risk for Arsenal. This is a club whose highest transfer ever is only £13 million—spent on Sylvain Wiltord in 2000. (Correction: Andrei Arshavin cost £15 million in 2009). Spending anything more than that is simply unheard of at the Emirates.

A transfer in the £20 million range needs to be a surefire hit, or at least as close to surefire as you can get in the transfer market. Jovetic, despite his goal and assists tallies, is not that kind of player.

Arsene Wenger is so averse to spending money that if this transfer goes wrong, it's going to go wrong in a big way.

Arsenal will be banking a lot on Jovetic to perform. If the injury bug comes back to bite him, it'll hurt the Gunners on the pitch and possibly off it as well, as Wenger scares himself into not buying another expensive player anytime soon.

Gunners supporters have every reason to demand the club open up the checkbook this summer. When it comes to Jovetic, though, the money could be spent much smarter elsewhere.