Arsenal: Why the Gunners Don't Need to Sign Another Striker This Summer

Jack LusbyFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2014

Joel Campbell makes way for Alexis Sanchez during a pre-season clash—the future of Arsenal's attack?
Joel Campbell makes way for Alexis Sanchez during a pre-season clash—the future of Arsenal's attack?Matt Dunham/Associated Press

As Arsenal head into the 2014/15 Premier League season, the usual rumbles of discontent amongst Gunners fans towards the club's strike options continue; however, this season, the club's strike force is at its strongest in many years.

The departures of Park Chu-Young and Nicklas Bendtner this summer will undoubtedly come as a relief to the Emirates faithful, with the club now free of two expensive dead weights.

In their place arrives £35 million-signing Alexis Sanchez, courtesy of Barcelona, and returning loanee Joel Campbell, who starred at the World Cup for Costa Rica this summer.

Paired with previous options Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo, Arsenal find themselves in great goalscoring shape for the season ahead, belying the need to sign another striker this summer.


Olivier Giroud should still be Arsenal's main man this season.
Olivier Giroud should still be Arsenal's main man this season.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud

French forward Giroud should start the coming season as Arsenal's leading centre-forward, and the former Montpellier man remains one of the most underrated goalscorers in the league.

The striker ended the 2013/14 season with 16 goals and eight assists from 36 league appearances—a considerable return for any respectable striker.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Wenger is looking to extend the contract of his compatriot, with Jack De Menezes of The Independent claiming talks are in motion following the World Cup.

Furthermore, it is worth noting Giroud was at his best last season working in tandem with the imperious Aaron Ramsey, and the Welshman's injury problems in the latter half of the season affected the Frenchman's form.

Nonetheless, the 27-year-old ended the season in fine fettle, in particular with performances at home.

As the spearhead of the Arsenal attack, Giroud's impeccable link-up play and fine finishing should see the Gunners through this season.


Yaya Sanogo celebrates with Arsenal fans this pre-season.
Yaya Sanogo celebrates with Arsenal fans this pre-season.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Yaya Sanogo

Snapping at Giroud's heels this season will be fellow Frenchman Yaya Sanogo, who suffered an injury-hit season in 2013/14.

The former Auxerre man made eight substitute appearances last season, failing to find the net once.

However, prior to the beginning of this season, Sanogo is clearly looking to prove himself to Wenger and solidify a place in the Arsenal first team.

Hitting four goals in the pre-season triumph over Benfica, a 5-1 victory in the Emirates Cup, Sanogo outlined a supreme goalscoring talent.

In particular, the striker's third goal displayed an impressive finisher's instinct, poking the ball into the net from a difficult angle.

Encouragingly, Sanogo's manager was particularly enamoured by this quality.

If the 21-year-old is happy to play second fiddle to Giroud in the centre-forward role this season, Sanogo may push for a place in Wenger's long-term first-team plans with similar displays in the Premier League.


Can Joel Campbell make a claim for a first-team role at Arsenal this season?
Can Joel Campbell make a claim for a first-team role at Arsenal this season?Michael Regan/Getty Images

Joel Campbell

Returning from a successful loan spell with Greek side Olympiakos, Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell brings to Wenger's front line a plethora of different qualities.

The 22-year-old added the finishing touch to Sanogo's four-goal haul against Benfica, possibly underlining the abilities of the youngster to the Arsenal management.

Making 31 Super League appearances last term, and scoring eight goals, Campbell is able to perform as a striker or as an auxiliary wide option on either side of the attacking trident.

A move to Italian giants AC Milan has been mooted in recent weeks, as per The Telegraph, with Matt Law claiming the club "are interested in taking him to Italy for a fourth spell away from Arsenal."

However, Wenger has been quick to quash any speculation.

A pacy, direct front man, Campbell would give the Frenchman a different option in order to shake up his forward line throughout 2014/15, and should be crucial to the Gunners' potential success this season.


Arsenal's new No. 17 is the missing piece the North London club have been searching for.
Arsenal's new No. 17 is the missing piece the North London club have been searching for.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez & Diversity

Furthermore, whilst not primarily a centre-forward, the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona this summer provides Wenger with the missing piece to what has perhaps been a lacking strike force in previous years.

Able to play as a No. 10, either side of the centre-forward, or finally as an out-and-out No. 9 if needed, Sanchez can provide Arsenal with a cutting edge this season.

The Chilean scored 19 goals and made a further 10 assists in 34 La Liga appearances last season, per, proving a supreme ability in both creating and finishing chances.

Much like Campbell, Sanchez will provide Arsenal with the option of deploying a diverse attacking trident.

At times Sanchez will play off Giroud in a No. 10 role, at others as a wide man providing chances for the Frenchman, perhaps trading off fellow speed demon Theo Walcott.

Finally, per ESPN, Wenger is set to utilise Sanchez's goalscoring abilities as a centre-forward at times throughout 2014/15.

Wenger surprised some Arsenal supporters when he stated earlier this month that he has no intention of signing another forward...but [the manager] believes the Chile star can thrive in a more central role.

Overall, this portrays Arsenal's searing attacking options this season.

Giroud and Sanogo are potent finishers, able to link up with the club's myriad creative outlets in putting opponents to the sword, whilst Campbell and Sanchez offer further options.

This season Wenger has finally solidified his strike options, allowing for a much-needed tactical flexibility.

For once, Arsenal don't need to sign a striker.