Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Pros and Cons of Each Major Forward Target

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea is helped to his feet by Wayne Rooney of Manchester United after being shown the red card during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal are in a rare position of being near the center of the transfer world with targets coming from all directions. However, not every available player would be a perfect fit.

The club must be cautious about adding talent that might disturb the chemistry of the current squad or simply not improve the roster.

One of the biggest spots Arsenal are looking for an upgrade is at forward. Fortunately, they have been linked with a handful of big-name players that could seriously make a difference next season.

Still, it is important to look at the positive and negative aspects of each major target. 


Gonzalo Higuain

Skinny: Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with Arsenal so long that it is surprising he is not already wearing a kit. However, Wayne Veysey of has reported that the club has already agreed to terms with the player and is just negotiating a transfer fee.

Considering the club is planning on making a record deal to acquire the Real Madrid player, Higuain should be signed relatively soon.


Pros: Not only is Higuain already one of the top goal scorers in the world, but he is still entering his prime at 25 years old. Arsenal should expect his production to continue to be high for many years.

That production is already impressive, with 16 goals scored in La Liga to rank second on Real Madrid last season. He has been just as solid for Argentina in the current round of World Cup qualifying, totaling seven goals in 10 starts.

He has a great finishing touch that allows him to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.


Cons: Playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid and Lionel Messi on Argentina, Higuain has never had to be the primary option. In the last two years in La Liga, he was often only used as a late sub for quick offense.

This would be a huge difference at Arsenal, where he would be asked to be one of the focal points of the offense from the start. It is unknown if he will handle the pressure of this role, especially when defenses start to key on him in matches.

Additionally, Arsenal has a drop-off in midfield talent compared to Real. Higuain will have to prove that he can create chances on his own without the help of elite players around him. 


Wayne Rooney

Skinny: There seems to be conflicting reports as to whether Wayne Rooney is actually available. According to Simon Mullock of Mirror Football, Arsenal made a bid of £20 million despite Manchester United saying he will not be sold.

Still, Joe Bernstein and Rob Draper of the Daily Mail reported that the star player will meet with manager David Moyes during the week to discuss his future with the club.

If the two sides decide to part ways, Arsenal will be there ready to pounce on the opportunity.


Pros: Neither of the other players on this list is as proven in the EPL as Rooney. The veteran player has won many trophies over his long career with Manchester United and was often the best on the roster.

His ability as a pure scorer has never been questioned, finishing with 27 goals during the 2011-12 season. Last year, he proved his versatility as a passer with 10 assists with Robin van Persie on the roster.

Rooney would bring a great deal of skill as well as experience and a winning attitude to a club looking to contend for a league title next season.


Cons: The worst thing about Rooney is his attitude on and off the pitch.

During matches, he tends to lose focus when he is angry at the refs, his opponent or even his own team. Additionally, he showed he can be a bit of a distraction to his squad with a second transfer request in the last few years.

This might mess up the cohesion of the young squad after playing well last year.

Finally, Rooney has been in the league for a long time and has a lot of mileage on his legs. Although he is still only 27 years old, it is only a matter of time until his body starts breaking down due to injuries.


Fernando Torres

Skinny: After arriving in Chelsea in a highly publicized move from Liverpool, Fernando Torres has failed to live up to expectations with his current club. This has put him out of favor with fans, and new manager Jose Mourinho is even unsure of the player's future.

As a result, Arsenal will try to acquire the talented forward from the EPL rival, according to Dave Kidd and Dean Jones of Mirror Football.

Depending on your perspective, this would be yet another move that could strengthen the Gunners while weakening a top contender in the league. 


Pros: When he is playing well, Torres can score as well as anyone in the world. He won the Golden Boot for the recent Confederations Cup with five goals in four matches, an award he also won at the Euro 2012 championships.

Despite those claiming he had a bad year at Chelsea, he led the squad with 23 goals in all competitions and often was able to come through when the team needed it the most.

Torres has excellent skill with the ball and has the ability to beat most defenders one-on-one. He is someone who can create opportunities from nothing and can bring in plenty of goals to a club without many true strikers on the roster.


Cons: The problem for Torres has always been consistency. While he scored 23 goals last year, only eight of them came in the Premier League. He actually only scored once in league play after Christmas.

This has been a problem throughout his Chelsea career after scoring only six goals against league competition the year before.

Arsenal might not want to take a risk on a player who struggles to get goals on a consistent basis, especially when his best years are clearly behind him.


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