Arsenal FC have officially signed Moroccan sensation Marouane Chamakh from French club Bordeaux on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.
The North London club announced their first summer signing on their official site Arsenal.com.
Chamakh has made 239 appearances for the Les Girondins scoring 79 goals during his eight years at the club. The 26-year-old had a fantastic season with Bordeaux, where he played a key-role in helping Bordeaux reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. During the 2008/09 season he scored 13 goals to help the French club win the Ligue 1 ending the seven year domination of Lyon at the top of France's first division.
Although he was born and grew up in France he chose to represent Morocco in international football due to his Moroccan parentage. He made his debut for the North African nation in June 2003 in a African Nations' Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone.
He has thereafter become a regular in the Morocco national team. The extremely talented Chamakh has made 53 appearances for his nation scoring 27 goals. He was also part of the squad which reached the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations final.
The signing of Chamakh officially signals the start of Wenger's summer signing spree. The Arsenal manager has admitted to making a few new signings this summer as he intends to add depth to his young squad, and Chamakh's arrival will be the right step in that direction.
The Moroccan hitman provides a massive aerial threat to opposing defenses which makes him an important attack option during set-pieces or corner kicks. He combines his excellent heading ability with great jumping, strength, and agility which will make him cope better to the Premier League's style of play.
His arrival will also add experience and quality to the young Arsenal squad which has faltered during the absence of their experienced players like Robin Van Persie and Fabregas.
Chamakh's free transfer arrival is seen as a pretty good bargain for Wenger since that solves Arsenal's attacking problems. Wenger can now splash the cash on buying two central defenders as well as a midfielder in case Fabregas makes a move to his childhood club Barcelona.
Arsene Wenger expressed his delight on Chamakh's arrival to the Emirates. Wenger has been a long term admirer of the impressive Bordeaux striker, and is extremely happy that the signing took place at last.
Chamakh on his part expressed his pleasure to join the North London outfit that he has long wished to join. He has time and again expressed his desire to make a move to the Emirates, and told people that he was very excited that finally it had taken place.
Chamakh, who will wear the number 29 shirt shirt for the Gunners' will be able to join his new team-mates for pre-season training after 1st July.
Now it remains to be seen if he can live upto the huge expectations that he has brought in with his arrival at the Emirates.