Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Ciprian Marica Signing as Vital as Mesut Ozil Deal
Arsenal are reportedly close to the signing of Romanian striker Ciprian Marica, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
Marica can be signed by the Gunners because he is a free agent following his departure from Schalke. And his agent, Ioan Becali, claims a deal could be done next week.
Cross provides Becali’s quotes:
Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it's natural that big clubs are eyeing his career.
He's close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week.
There can be no doubt Arsene Wenger needs a striker, and the urgency with which he tries to find one has only increased over the international break.
Arsenal saw Tomas Rosicky damage a thigh in the first half of Czech Republic’s clash with Italy, while Yaya Sanogo returned from France Under-21s duty with a back problem. Theo Walcott, too, was the victim of a nasty challenge against Ukraine and was withdrawn late in the game.
BOOKING Ukraine captain Olexandr Kucher is shown a yellow card for a trip on Theo Walcott. 62 mins. 0-0. #UkrvEng— The FA (@FA) September 10, 2013
Add all three players to the loss of Lukas Podolski—out for around 10 weeks—and Arsenal are left with the sole presence of Olivier Giroud.
The capture of Mesut Ozil will soften the potential losses of Rosicky and Walcott, but he is not the type of player who can play further forward should Giroud suddenly find himself struck down by the Arsenal injury curse.
Ozil was brought in as a luxury signing, aimed at adding world-class talent to an already impressive Arsenal attack. There was no desperation to add a player in his position, but such is Ozil’s reputation that he was widely—and rightly—welcomed by the club’s fans.
Marica has neither the talent nor the status of the German international, yet his mooted arrival at the Emirates carries just as much significance.
Relatively tall at 6’ 1”, he is not an out-and-out goalscorer but does boast an exceptional record for Romania, netting 22 times in 63 appearances.
Which player do Arsenal need most?
At club level he averaged in the region of a goal every four games for Shakhtar Donetsk and Stuttgart, per ESPNFC, while at Schalke he scored only nine in 52 appearances.
However, Marica is well-versed in the roles of striker, second striker and winger, handing Wenger the versatility and squad cover he needs in order to cope with Arsenal’s injury bug.
Like Mathieu Flamini, he is unlikely to play every game when all players are fit, but Arsenal are about to embark on their Champions League campaign, which will stretch the squad with three games per week on occasions.
Ozil will be the man to make the difference in the big games, when Arsenal enter the European knockout stages—if they get that far.
But Marica’s reported signing will ensure the German—and Giroud, Walcott and Co.—can be rested at key times in a long campaign.
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