Javier Hernandez and 5 More World Cup Strikers Arsenal Should Target This Summer
Arsenal will most definitely sign a top-class striker this summer, but who will it be? Arsene Wenger is working for the French media in Brazil during the World Cup and is the club's best placed man to scout potential new recruits.
The goals have been flying in from all angles during the World Cup as strikers and forwards of all shapes and sizes make their presence known to the transfer market. All except English strikers, that is, but that's an argument for another day.
Here, we want to focus on the forwards who have impressed thus far. Who are the men good enough to wear the famous red and white jersey and slot right into Le Prof's plans to bring the Premier League title to the Emirates Stadium?
Here, Bleacher Report offers six World Cup strikers Arsenal should target this summer during the transfer window...
Javier Hernandez (Mexico)
Javier Hernandez has long been linked with a possible move to Arsenal.
Last November, former Manchester United coach, Rene Meulensteen hinted to talkSPORT (h/t Paul Gorst the Daily Mirror) that Hernandez would be interested in a move to Arsenal. Under David Moyes, the Mexican striker was reduced to little more than an impact substitute who started very few games.
The 26-year-old only started in six of his 24 Premier League appearances last season and only played the full 90 minutes three times, as per WhoScored.com.
There is no doubting the striker's ability. He has scored 59 goals in 152 games for United, being mostly used as a substitute, and he has bagged 36 in 65 internationals for Mexico.
The striker has retained a dignified silence over the past year, despite his relegation to bit-part player.
However, after scoring the all-important goal that ultimately sent his country through to the round of 16 at the World Cup and Croatia home, he had this to say, as per the Daily Express.
This whole year has been very tough. Players need confidence more than anything else, and I've been very short of it.
Very few people have shown faith in me over this past year.
Needless to say, Hernandez is now being linked with both Arsenal and their north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
The striker would improve both squads and offer some much needed pace and penetration up front. Linking him with Olivier Giroud could be the stuff of dreams in certain tactical situations.
Arsene, track the little man closely.
Jackson Martinez (Colombia)
Jackson Martinez has been one of the best strikers in Europe over the last two seasons with a hugely impressive 60 goals in 91 games for FC Porto.
The Colombian hitman announced his arrival at the World Cup, to the uninitiated, with two incredibly well-taken goals in the 4-1 demolition of Japan.
The Gunners were linked with a summer move for the striker by Jamie Sanderson of Metro back in February and little has changed since then. Martinez has scored 10 goals in 21 games for club and country since he hinted he could join Arsenal this summer.
Colombia's striker would bring pace, power, determination, an ability to play as a lone striker or in a combination and bags of skill.
His agent claimed to the Corriere Giallorosso, as per the London Evening Standard, that he was due to meet Arsenal about a possible transfer soon. He said:
I am waiting for Jackson Martinez's manager, Henrique Pompeio, to arrive in Italy tonight (June 11) for a series of transfer meetings we'll have together.
It's true, he will fly in tonight because we have some meetings lined up to evaluate and find the right proposal for Jackson Martinez.
We've got meetings set up with numerous European clubs, as he is of interest to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Valencia, but also important Italian sides.
Yes, Roma are a concrete possibility, but they aren't the only Serie A club interested in Martinez.
I repeat, we have many meetings and a lot to do over the next few days.
Arsenal face stiff opposition if they want to sign Martinez this summer.
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia)
Another man who won't be a stranger to Arsenal fans is Croatia's Mario Mandzukic.
This news immediately put most of Europe's top clubs on red alert. While Mandzukic may not fit the profile of a Pep Guardiola striker, he would most definitely fit into most of the top teams in Europe.
He did not feature in Croatia's first game of the World Cup against hosts Brazil through suspension. He was returned to the starting lineup against hapless Cameroon in the second where he scored twice. However, Croatia were ultimately undone by three late goals against Mexico in their final group game and bowed out of the tournament.
Mandzukic scored 18 goals in 30 games for Bayern last term and would be seen more as a direct replacement for Olivier Giroud than as a partner.
That being said, if he becomes available at the right price, he would be a steal.
Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast)
Wilfried Bony was one of the revelations of the Premier League last season. He carried that form into the World Cup where he performed with distinction for the Ivory Coast.
Bony signed for Swansea City from Vitesse Arnhem for £12 million last summer, as per BBC. Back then, only the most observant of European football fans knew who he was or what he was capable of. Now, one year and some 20 goals later, the 25-year-old is regarded as one of the top strikers in England.
Bony would come relatively cheap when compared to the likes of Jackson Marinez and Mario Mandzukic. He also has the advantage of having experienced a full season in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old scored twice as the Ivory Coast crashed out in the group stages to Greece and Colombia. Despite this, his reputation has been enhanced and Arsenal will want to move quick if they are to snag this striker.
Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
Ok, so Memphis Depay isn't exactly what one would call a striker, but he is the most ridiculously talented Dutchman to come out of Holland in many-a-year.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are said to be tracking the £17 million rated 20-year-old, according to Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.
The youngster has been compared with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dick Advocaat, Depay's former manager at PSV Eindhoven, recently told the Daily Mirror that he saw the inherent talent in the youngster and wanted to inspire him to become the next Ronaldo:
Memphis is one of Holland’s finest talents,” said Advocaat. “But I wanted to make it clear to him that there is a difference between being a talent and becoming a world-class player.
There was this big interview with Edwin van der Sar in the papers and he explained all the things Cristiano was doing on the training ground at Manchester United, how many extra hours he was spending to try to improve himself.
So I cut the page out and handed it to Depay the next day.
The wonderfully named youngster is an electric talent and features as a wide left-sided player for Holland and PSV. There is little doubt, however, that he has the skill, temperament and ability to eventually move inside a la Gareth Bale and Ronaldo.
At 20, he fits into Arsenal's target range. As a Dutchman, he also ticks all the right technical boxes and as a brilliant left-sided player, he virtually screams "SIGN ME!!!"
Do the right thing, Arsene.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Suarez's nine-game international suspension and four-month ban from all football related activities, as per FIFA.com, is old news by now.
What it ultimately means for Liverpool is that he will not play until October at the earliest.
The ruling states:
The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
When one factors in Suarez being suspended from training with Liverpool, it is most likely he will be unfit to play until around Christmas.
Now is the time for Arsenal to pounce!
Arsene tried to move the sun, moon and stars...actually, he only moved the sun by bidding £40 million plus one for the striker last season.
Had he followed his convictions and bid £45 million or £50 million, we would be talking about Arsenal and Suarez as Premier League champions and the whole unsavory biting incident might never have taken place.
But, we live in the real world, and Suarez stayed at Liverpool. Recent reports, before the biting incident, placed the Uruguayan's value at £68 million, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t the Irish Independent).
It is fair to say that following the ban, his value has dropped.
If Wenger thought he could rehabilitate the striker last year, chances are, he thinks the same this year.
Suarez, on form, would be the best signing Wenger could possibly make. All he has to do is tempt Liverpool and find a way of getting him fit...