The 5 Strikers Arsenal Should Target in the January Transfer Window
Arsenal fans all want the same thing for Christmas: a new striker.
The Gunners have enjoyed a superb start to the 2013/14 season, but remain dangerously reliant on Olivier Giroud as their centre-forward.
Both Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are able to play through the middle, but their services are more likely to be required on the flanks. Were Giroud to pick up an injury, Arsenal could face the unappealing prospect of having to deploy Nicklas Bendtner at centre-forward.
In order to prevent such an eventuality, Arsenal must make a move in the January transfer market. Arsenal need a striker who, like Giroud, has the combination of power and intelligence required to play as a lone striker.
Unfortunately, January is an infamously difficult time to buy. The big clubs are loathe to let go of top talent in midseason.
However, in signing Mesut Ozil, Arsenal showed that they are prepared to spend big if required. Over the next five slides we look at the men Arsene Wenger should target to fire the Gunners to the title.
Benteke's stock has dropped considerably in recent weeks. He is currently experiencing a miniature goal drought, having failed to score in his last seven games.
Perhaps that will bring his price tag in Arsenal's range.
Benteke was linked with a move to both Tottenham and Arsenal throughout the summer, before eventually signing a new deal with Villa. However, The Metro claim that Arsenal's interest remains. As The Gunners have discovered themselves, contracts are barely worth the paper they're written on. If the money is right, Benteke will move: every player has their price.
Benteke has the physical attributes to provide an effective alternative to Olivier Giroud. Like the Frenchman, he is dominant in the air and is capable of roughing up even the sturdiest of defenders.
Benteke wouldn't come cheap, but at 22 he is only likely to improve. His signing would be an investment for the future as well as the present.
Kostas Mitroglou is arguably Europe's hottest striking property.
His performances for Olympiacos have garnered interest from all over the continent. According to Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, Arsenal are now among the chasing pack.
Mitroglou's Olympiacos manager, Jose Miguel Michel, has admitted that Mitroglou's sparkling performances are making it difficult to ward off suitors:
We’ve known for some time that there has been interest from many clubs.
But that’s only logical considering how well he has been doing lately.
There have been no concrete proposals so far, but if he keeps on doing well, it’s going to be hard to keep him.
Mitroglou has the physical presence to lead the line, but is also a devastating finisher. According to WhoScored, he has plundered 16 goals in just 13 starts.
The Greek international would provide competition and cover for Olivier Giroud, without being of the stature to demand a starting place every week. In many respects, he'd be the ideal signing.
In his second season in English football, Michu has not been quite as prolific as he was during his stunning debut campaign.
However, he remains an enormous talent. Winning his first cap for Spain is an indicator that he is a man whose reputation continues to rise at a startlingly steep trajectory.
Michu's preferred position is as a central attacking midfielder. He is at his best when making runs from deep. However, he is also capable of playing up top as a centre-forward. When he does so, his style is a little reminiscent of Olivier Giroud: he is adept at linking the play and bringing others in to the game.
According to The Mirror, Swansea would expect to receive as much as £30 million for Michu's services.
That seems a little steep. However, Arsenal will know that acquiring a striker could prove the difference in the Premier League title race. Paying over the odds might just be worthwhile.
The chance to sign Diego Costa may have gone.
However, the Brazilian opted to stay in Madrid and sign a new deal.
How Liverpool must curse that decision now. According to WhoScored, Diego Costa has scored 15 La Liga goals in as many appearances. He has done the seemingly impossible, and allowed Atletico Madrid's fans to forget about former talisman Radamel Falcao.
With Atletico progressing well in La Liga and the Champions League, it would take crazy money to prise Diego Costa from their clasp. However, the Madrid club have shown in the past that they are prepared to let their top performers leave for the right price.
It's time for Arsenal to show Atletico the money.
Ideally, Arsenal would like to sign a new striker permanently. However, given the difficulties of the January transfer window, Arsenal may have to settle for a temporary deal.
That explains their reported interest in Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata. Morata is seen as integral to Real's future, but is currently struggling for game-time. He has made just one La Liga start in 2013/14.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are preparing to offer Morata more regular football in the form of a loan move to London.
Morata is technically gifted, but would certainly need to adapt quickly to the physical aspect of English football. However, his quality in and around the penalty area is beyond doubt.
Morata's inexperience would make him a gamble—but certainly no more of a gamble than fielding Nicklas Bendtner.
Which striker would you like to see Arsenal sign? Let us know below.