Demba Ba Would Be Perfect Complement to Olivier Giroud in Arsenal's Attack
September 2 is a day that could change Arsenal for years to come.
First there's the move that sees Mesut Ozil shatter just about everybody's perception of Arsenal as a club that doesn't spend money. According to the BBC's David Ornstein, it's only a formality until the German midfielder is an Arsenal player.
Then came the reports that the Gunners are looking to add Demba Ba on loan (h/t Sky Sports News).
Sky Sources understand that Arsenal have made an enquiry for Chelsea striker Demba Ba: #SkyDeadlineDay— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 2, 2013
More on Arsenal's move for Demba Ba. The Blues are said to want a £3m loan fee for the striker, Arsenal have tabled £1.5m: #SkyDeadlineDay— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 2, 2013
Ben Smith of the BBC reported West Ham are trying to make a move, but they're second in line to Arsenal.
According to FOX Soccer, Tottenham is an option as well.
Report: Tottenham have joined West Ham and Arsenal in the chase for a loan move for Demba Ba— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 2, 2013
Signing Ozil is more of a luxury for Arsenal. It's like spending $2,000 on a new computer. That computer will make your life easier and provide entertainment.
Ba is more the essential living necessities. Having a nice computer is great, but you still need food and water to live. If you don't buy that, you're dead.
Arsenal are better with Ozil in the fold. Their title chances are still dead if they don't make the moves to address their biggest needs. By pursuing Ba, they're starting to do that.
Here are the strikers currently on the senior team: Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo, Park Chu-Young and Nicklas Bendtner. The latter two have come to help symbolize Arsenal's failings both in the transfer market on the pitch. Sanogo is still a very raw player and untested in first-division football. Giroud, on the other hand, is a very good player and could easily net 20 Premier League goals with Ozil feeding him passes.
So you're only looking at one, maybe two strikers you'd count on this season. That's not anywhere near enough. Giroud isn't going to be able to start 40-plus matches in the Premier League, Champions League and domestic cup competitions.
Signing Ba would help to alleviate some of that stress from the Frenchman. It would also help to bring out the best in Giroud.
Having an unquestioned starter in your lineup isn't always a good thing. That player knows he's not going to be dropped, so he doesn't try to work as hard as if he were fighting for a spot.
Gooners know this all too well after watching Wojciech Szczesny the past few seasons. He's still a very promising goalkeeper, but you can see that his development has stalled because there isn't another option at GK for Arsenal.
Giroud is much better than Ba, but it's just enough competition for Giroud to think that if he doesn't work his tail off, he could be passed up.
Ba is a proven Premier League goalscorer. Since moving to West Ham in 2011, he's found the back of the net 38 times in 81 matches. Since the move to Chelsea, it's sometimes forgotten just how good Ba is as a player.
To have someone of this caliber on the bench is a huge asset for any club.
For Arsenal, he could step up and make starts when necessary. In matches where Arsenal are having trouble breaking down opposing defences, Ba would also offer a change of pace from Giroud. The Chelsea man is a bit quicker, and that speed could prove the difference against tired defenders.
Ba likely wouldn't have a problem being nothing more than a situational option. In July, he said he was happy to compete with Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres and even Wayne Rooney—if it came to that—for a place in the Blues' starting XI. At Arsenal, his path to the first team would be less muddied than it is at Stamford Bridge.
If this transfer window is a sign of things to come, Arsenal won't remain a running joke anymore. Instead, they'll just be laughing at their competition.
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