Arsenal FC: 4 Strikers the Gunners Should Target in January

Matthew Celentano@@Gunner_NYCFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

Arsenal FC: 4 Strikers the Gunners Should Target in January

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    Arsenal's brilliant form in the past few months has been one of the surprises of the season, with the Gunners now sitting at the top of the Premier League table despite being written off after a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day.

    Arsene Wenger's side are also in first place in their Champions League "group of death," becoming the first-ever English team to win at Borussia Dortmund in the process.

    It's looking more likely than ever that Arsenal will end their eight-year trophy drought, but the North London outfit still have one major issue, which is the fact that Olivier Giroud is the only established striker at the club.

    The Frenchman has been one of the Gunners' standout players this season, scoring eight goals as well as demonstrating his fantastic work rate and link-up play. That being said, an injury to Giroud would be detrimental to Arsenal's title challenge, and it's impossible for him to play every single game this season.

    Unless you consider Nicklas Bendtner a viable alternative to Giroud, Arsene Wenger will need to act quickly in the January transfer window to bolster his strike force.

    Without further ado, here are four strikers Arsenal should target in January.

Javier Hernandez

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    Chicharito is a player who simply needs a transfer as soon as possible. He's now Manchester United's fourth-choice striker, falling behind Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order.

    His lack of playing time has subsequently led to a lack of form, highlighted by his woeful miss against Real Sociedad in the Champions League. At 25 years old, Hernandez is still young—but he needs a move to rejuvenate his career.

    A poacher in every sense of the word, Chicharito has mastered the art of being in the right place at the right time. Arsenal could be the perfect club for him where the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere will be constantly feeding him crosses and through balls.

    The Mexican international would be a perfect rotational option for Arsenal to have, not to mention that he'll be a fantastic super sub and will provide Olivier Giroud with healthy competition.

    The only issue is that Manchester United will be reluctant to directly strengthen their rivals in the middle of a season—but for the right amount of money, they'll certainly let him leave.

Diego Costa

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    In a season where David Villa was supposed to become Atletico Madrid's talisman following the departure of Falcao, it's Diego Costa who has stepped up.

    The 25-year-old has already scored 15 goals in all competitions this season and is the second top scorer in La Liga, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo. In an interview with Eurosport, Arsene Wenger described Diego Costa as an "absolute animal"—I couldn't have put it better myself.

    Physically a beast and technically adept, the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard (that's a different story) has all the attributes needed to succeed in the Premier League. 

    The only problem with Costa is that he's cup-tied in the Champions League, and while James Dickenson of the Express reports that a summer move is more likely, a January transfer still makes sense, as he would bolster Arsenal's Premier League title challenge.

Karim Benzema

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    Benzema has been incessantly linked with a move to Arsenal since the summer transfer window. John Cross of Mirror Sport reports that Arsene Wenger has been monitoring the Real Madrid striker while James Dickenson of the Express reports that Arsenal will make a £27 million bid in January.

    The 25-year-old was the subject of criticism from fans earlier this season, but he's stepped up his game considerably with an impressive eight goals and eight assists in all competitions.

    Despite all of the speculation, Benzema to Arsenal doesn't actually make much sense from a Real Madrid standpoint. After the departure of Gonzalo Higuain, the Frenchman is Los Blancos' only established striker, with promising youngsters Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez serving as backup.

    While it seems like it would take Real Madrid signing a striker in January (Luis Suarez, anyone?) to make selling Benzema a possibility, and you consider the fact that he's cup-tied, a move looks more unlikely than rumours will make it out to be.

    That being said, don't write this one off completely. Arsene Wenger has a knack for signing French players, and the appeal of linking up with former teammate Mesut Ozil could be a deal breaker for Benzema. As for Luis Suarez joining Real Madrid in order to make the transfer practical for Carlo Ancelotti, stranger things have happened.

Luis Suarez

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    Speaking of Luis Suarez, the Liverpool striker is the ideal target for Arsenal.

    Say what you want about the man, but Suarez is arguably the best player in the Premier League.

    Despite being banned for the first five games of the season, he hit the ground running and is now the joint top scorer in the league, finding the net eight times in the last six matches.

    It's no secret that Arsenal were after the Uruguayan in the summer, as Liverpool have been very public about the Gunners' £40 million plus £1 bid, but if Metro are to be believed then Arsenal are preparing another bid for Suarez in January.

    That being said, Liverpool will undoubtedly be disinclined to sell their best player, especially midway through a season where they've been playing some fantastic football and currently sit in second place—only behind Arsenal.

    Suarez is without a doubt the best striker on the market and the most practical signing, considering he won't be cup-tied in the Champions League, unlike other possible targets.

    Will Arsene Wenger test Brendan Rodgers' resolve? Will Luis Suarez stay loyal to Liverpool? Watch this space in January.