Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Why Divock Origi Can't Be Answer To Gunners' Striker Woes

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 26:  Divock Origi of Belgium controls the ball as Kim Young-Gwon of South Korea gives chase during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between South Korea and Belgium at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 26, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

Arsenal are reportedly looking at Belgium international Divock Origi to strengthen their attacking unit, but while the youngster is undoubtedly talented, he can't be Arsene Wenger's solution to his striker conundrum.

According to The Daily Mail's Simon Jones, the Gunners are one of a number of Premier League teams interested in the striker, who currently plays for French outfit Lille.

Origi was a surprise selection for the Belgian World Cup squad, but he justified his selection with excellent performances against Algeria and Russia, scoring the winning goal in the latter match.

Per Jones, Origi told the Express he dreamt of playing in the Premier League as a child, opening the door for a potential transfer:

As a little boy I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League.

But I'm still young and now I'm in an important tournament so I'm trying to focus on the team. Then my entourage will see with Lille what I will do.

The 19-year-old has impressed as a Red Devil so far, displaying a tremendous burst of speed and good upper-body strength to go with his technical ability. Origi is an impressive physical specimen and has all the tools to be a great striker, but his rawness is evident on the pitch.

His movement can be erratic at times because he is yet to develop a real feel for the game. In terms of production, it's very clear the player is still in a very early stage of his development.

Per WhoScored.com, Origi scored five goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances (12 starts) for Lille during the 2013/14 campaign. While those numbers aren't necessarily bad for such a young player, they're hardly indicative of a top striker dominating competition in a league less challenging than the Premier League.

Tottenham and Liverpool are also reportedly interested in securing his services, per Jones, and it's clear to see why. Origi has obvious potential, and his performances during the 2014 World Cup have been very impressive.

Origi would be a good transfer target for Arsenal and become next player in a long line of exceptional young talents to have made the move to north London. The Gunners have a reputation for talent development, and Wenger could work wonders with a player as physically gifted as Origi.

But therein lies the issue; too often in the past have we seen Arsenal settle for a project player, choosing to neglect a certain position for the near future. An Origi-to-Arsenal move would be a good thing, but if Wenger wishes to adress the striker position, it can't be the only move he makes.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 22: Divock Origi of Belgium controls the ball against Vasily Berezutskiy of Russia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Belgium and Russia at Maracana on June 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Olivier Groud is the team's designated starter up front, and while he isn't a world-class option, he did an admirable job during the 2013/14 season. The French international isn't a particularly gifted athlete, but he's a hard worker, a good passer and someone capable of finishing when he finds space.

If Wenger has identified the position as a deep spot, there are better options available on the market. But these options will cost a lot more than the £6 million it'll reportedly take to sign Origi.

Signing Origi would be a smart piece of business, but the Belgian is nowhere near ready to contribute on a Premier League level. A loan move back to Lille would make sense, giving him plenty of time to further develop his abilities.

His signing also shouldn't serve as an excuse not to spend big on another striker, someone who could come in right away and offer the team more than Giroud does.  

 

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