Morata can boost Arsenal's title hopes
Arsenal have been linked with Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as they seek to boost their title chances by adding more firepower upfront, reports Rob Draper in the Daily Mail.
The Gunners sit on top of the Premier League table but are looking to bolster their strike-force to provide support for Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who scored his first goal in seven games against Newcastle on Sunday.
Despite the return of German Lukas Podolski, who had a great cameo off the bench against West Ham on Boxing Day, Arsenal know that they need additional striking options with their nearest rivals all boasting a host of offensive options.
According to Draper:
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti has used Morata only sparingly and the club would be happy if he moved to Arsenal for six months on loan.
Morata was the star of last summer’s Under-21 European Championship in Israel, scoring four goals for Spain and winning the Golden Ball as top scorer in the tournament.
Giroud's goal in Arsenal's win over Newcastle United at St James' Park was his eighth Premier League goal of the season but Arsene Wenger understands that nearest rivals Manchester City and Chelsea both have the luxury to rotate their forward lines with world-class talent.
Arsenal have had to rely on Giroud to lead the frontline by himself, with any injury to the Frenchman dashing the Gunners' charge to the title, which they hope will subsequently end a eight-year trophy drought.
Despite committing himself to Real Madrid this summer according to Tim Oscroft of Sky Sports, Morata has seen his chances limited at the Bernabeu. Los Galaticos having a wealth of talent upfront in Cristiano Ronaldo, ex-Spurs star Gareth Bale and Frenchman Karim Benzema. But the young Spaniard would be exactly the tonic Arsenal need to fight on all fronts.
The 21-year-old has already matched last season’s goal tally of two La Liga goals in approximately half the minutes he accumulated during the previous campaign (213 minutes in 2013/14 compared to 416 last season). Morata has also continued to shine for the Spanish U21 side, scoring eight goals in six competitive appearances—a goal every 61 minutes show stats on transfermarkt.co.uk.
Morata's potential loan deal would be the perfect fix until Arsenal find a suitable striker in the summer for the long-term, something they failed to address last summer, as reported by Jamie Sanderson of the Metro, leaving them to rely on Nicklas Bendtner as a back-up.
Signing a striker of Morata's potential is vital. He's young, energetic and is a natural goalscorer—his performance in last summer’s Under-21 European Championship in Israel showing all the evidence of that—all traits that would fit into this current Arsenal team.
Arsenal may need to make a move quickly for the Spaniard with Tottenham also interested, according to the Daily Mirror's John Cross.
Their chances of signing Morata may have had a last week Spanish newspaper AS claimed that Ancelotti has no plans to let the Spaniard go anywhere.
The Daily Mirror is talking up Wenger’s interest in Morata. Ancelotti said he’s staying. Feeling here is no move is imminent.— AS English (@English_AS) December 26, 2013
Arsenal's title aspirations became threatened on Sunday when Giroud looked injured after he was crushed by a tough tackle by Newcastle's Cheick Tiote. The Frenchman continued playing and ended up scoring Arsenal's winning goal.
On CanalPlus, Giroud explains Tiotté's challenge on first half has cuts his boot, sock and foot. Played entire 2nd half with the pain— GrÖÖver (@GrooverBlog) December 29, 2013
Wenger will be hoping that Giroud remains fit, but the chance to add to his strike-force in the shape of Morata—one of Europe's hottest talents— should not be missed.