Salomon Kalou Would Be High-Profile Signing Arsenal Desperately Needs

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIAugust 31, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Salomon Kalou of Chelsea in action during the FA Cup with Budweiser Final match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has taken heat for not being more active in the transfer market, but he has a golden opportunity at slightly redeeming that by acquiring standout forward Salomon Kalou.

Simon Jones of The Daily Mail broke news of the Gunners' interest in the 28-year-old, who used to play for rival Chelsea and currently plays for Lille of France's Ligue 1.

In the English Premier League season-opening 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, the Emirates Stadium crowd implored him—through expletive-laden song—to spend money and upgrade the roster (h/t The Mirror).

A parody video has even surfaced, poking fun at Wenger's stinginess with regard to transfer targets:

The Gunners rebounded to defeat Fulham in the second EPL fixture of 2013-14, but the club clearly has a long way to go to compete with the league's elite. In order to eventually reach that level—and push past last season's finish of fourth in the table—landing a player like Kalou is a great start.

Injuries to stars such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and forward Lukas Podolski have left the Arsenal attack significantly short-handed in the early going. There is a definitive need for more scoring firepower to the starting XI, which is precisely what Kalou would provide.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for an estimated 12 weeks, and Podolski won't return for eight to 10 weeks. This isn't a time for Arsenal to be passive or flat-out inactive.

Wenger has been slightly more proactive as of late, bringing in Yaya Sanogo and midfielder Mathieu Flamini, but Sanogo can't be expected to be a top-flight striker coming straight out of youth football.

The reported minimal cost of £2.6 million to bring an established EPL player like Kalou in is well worth the price, and according to Jones, he will demand £60,000 per week in salary.

Kalou isn't the most prolific scorer by any means, but his speed and counter-attacking ability would be invaluable for a coach in Wenger who relies on grit and stout defense to be successful. Production in scoring increased for Kalou in Ligue 1, where he notched 14 goals in just 25 starts last season (h/t

It's important for Wenger to make an investment in improving an offense that is going to suffer in the coming months with significant injuries.

Kalou's scoring barrage in France may have been just what he needed to kick his career up to the next level, and he would undoubtedly be embraced if he could be a transfer player who catalyzes Arsenal's attack while several stars are ailing.