Arsenal Transfers: 10 Strikers Gunners Could Target in January Transfer Window
Arsenal have had a bad start to their season and with the much needed win against Sunderland, they currently have 10 points in eight games played. They certainly need to improve in order to attain a Champions League place and might need to fight all the way till the end of the season.
The long-serving Frenchman has come under increasing criticism for Arsenal's poor performances and his transfer activity in the summer has also been criticized. It is clear that some of the signings have yet to adjust to the physicality and pace of the Premiership.
Liverpool, Tottenham and the other top clubs have all strengthened their squads while Arsenal's squad looks to have weakened, mainly due to the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and the injury to the impressive Jack Wilshere.
Robin van Persie is also yet to sign a new contract, which is also a worry for the Gunners, who had faced the same situation with Samir Nasri and the French midfielder departed to sign a lucrative contract with Manchester City.
Van Persie has looked isolated on many occasions this season and it is clear that he is the main goalscorer for the Gunners. However, he also has a reputation of being injury-prone. With Marouane Chamakh not performing and Park Ju Young yet to settle in the league, Arsenal do not have much depth in that department.
There is a good chance that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could target a striker in the January transfer window when even Gervinho will probably not be available due to the African Cup of Nations.
Here is a list of 10 strikers who could be targeted by Wenger in January, though it could be hard to sign some of these players.
1. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
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Didier Drogba has been one of the Premiership’s best forwards, scoring many important goals for the Blues in the past.
However, it does seem like he is currently behind in the pecking order and with less than a year left on his contract, he could move to another club in January for a bargain fee.
Arsenal currently have only one world-class striker in Robin van Persie and with Park Ju Young yet to settle in the Premiership and Marouane Chamakh in poor form, they do have limited depth in the position.
Drogba could be a signing that would lift the Gunners, as he is a proven performer and will provide passion and experience to a team that has not completely recovered from the losses of creative players like Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
2. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
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Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez has been embroiled in controversy ever since the game against Bayern Munich and it does seem like he does not have much of a future at City.
With strikers like Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli in their team, City manager Roberto Mancini has no necessity to utilize the services of Tevez. If needed, they can always buy another striker with the money they possess.
Arsenal’s Robin van Persie is a reliable goal-scorer but it cannot be denied that he is prone to injuries, so the Gunners need another quality striker in their ranks to lift the team.
Tevez, who has been linked with Arsenal in the past, will provide a major threat for the Gunners and his efforts and determination could be crucial for Arsenal if he is signed. He will be difficult to handle considering his penchant to attract controversy, but Arsene Wenger is one of the most experienced and can afford to spend the money on the Argentina international.
3. Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)
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Kalou has not been a regular starter for Chelsea for some time now. With the signing of Romelu Lukaku and the performances of Daniel Sturridge, it is unlikely that Kalou will play many games this season.
He is likely to leave in January or in the summer as a free agent and there is every chance that Arsene Wenger could make efforts to sign the Ivorian international.
Kalou has ability to score important goals through his good positioning and can be an effective impact substitute. However, just like the signing of Yossi Benayoun, his signing by Arsenal would not particularly impress the Arsenal supporters who want the club to make some quality additions.
4. Papiss Cisse (Freiburg)
Papiss Cisse could emerge as a serious target for the Gunners in January. The striker has been prolific since his move to Freiburg and has proved that he is no “one-season wonder.”
The striker scored as many as 22 league goals in the last season—second only to Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez—and the former Metz striker has attracted plenty of attention from clubs across Europe.
If Arsenal do indeed have plans to sell one striker this January or in the summer, there is a very good chance that they will make efforts to sign Cisse in January.
The strong striker could be interested in a move to the Emirates considering the influence of Arsene Wenger and also the fact that he will be playing for a big club in the Premier League, which is one of the best in the world.
5. Hulk (FC Porto)
Another transfer rumor that has surfaced in the recent weeks is that Arsenal were apparently interested in Porto striker Hulk and they could make a move for the forward in January. The Porto striker has an outrageous buyout clause and it is almost certain that Arsenal will not consider bidding anything close to that figure, which is why it will be difficult for the Gunners to sign Hulk.
Hulk and Radamel Falcao were the key strikers in Porto’s success in the previous season. With Falcao leaving for Atletico Madrid in the summer, it is unlikely that Porto will be willing to sell another of their most important players.
Arsenal are unlikely to spend very high amounts on a single striker and will probably just stay away from Hulk, though it will be interesting to see what happens if the player expresses his wish to move.
6. Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne)
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Lukas Podolski could also be a striker targeted by the Gunners’ manager considering that he could be a relatively achievable signing, though FC Cologne would be reluctant to accept a bargain bid.
The 26-year-old striker, who has been linked with a move to the Emirates in the past, has had a decent start to this season and despite his inconsistencies at club level, he has been quite consistent for Gernany as he showed recently in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It is evident that Podolski is a player who has the potential to be a world-class striker and Arsene Wenger has an excellent record in helping players realize their potential. Wenger has handled temperamental players in the past—Robin van Persie—and has helped many players reach their best form.
Podolski is certainly capable of achieving more than what he is doing at Cologne. Arsenal and Wenger could provide him the opportunity to prove his quality.
7. Moussa Sow (Lille)
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Lille striker Moussa Sow could also make the list of January transfer targets for Arsene Wenger considering that Sow has been in superb form in the last year and was prolific for Lille since his move from Rennes.
He scored 25 goals in the league for Lille helping them win the French League. The Senegal international has the power, pace and ability to be a top striker in the future but Wenger will have to see whether Sow is ready to move to a big club outside France, where he has played all of his career.
Sow can be one of the best strikers in Europe if the 25-year-old continues to hone his qualities and improve regularly. He has the attributes required to be successful and his next move to a big club will probably determine how successful he can be.
8. Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)
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Spanish striker Fernando Llorente has established himself as one of the best strikers in La Liga and has also impressed for Spain when given the opportunity. The tall striker has the capability to score goals regularly and has even been preferred over Fernando Torres by Vicente Del Bosque on some occasions.
Llorente can hold the ball and is comfortable with the passing style of play having played with many creative players at Athletic Bilboa and Spain.
Llorente can provide a good foil to Robin van Persie because he is more of a target man and also his off-the-ball movement can help Van Persie find more space, which can help him be more effective as well.
9. Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke)
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Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar is another player who could be targeted by the Gunners. He is a player who can score goals regularly if he can fit into the team.
The opportunistic striker has the ability to finish clinically and can play alongside Robin van Persie, as the two played together for the Netherlands national team.
Huntelaar had to leave Madrid due to the club’s policy of signing many new quality players and he did have a disappointing spell at AC Milan, from where he joined Schalke.
However, he has found his form and confidence at Schalke and has also impressed for the national team though he faces severe competition for his place from Arsenal’s Robin van Persie. With Van Persie the main striker for Arsenal, it might be difficult to sign Huntelaar considering that he will want regular playing time.
But if Arsenal can sign him, it could be an important signing for the Gunners.
10. Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina)
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Jovetic is a player of immense potential and though he has been out of the game for over a year due to injury, he has the quality to be a very threatening player in the future.
He is still only 22 and Arsene Wenger has an excellent record when it comes to developing youngsters for the future. It will be difficult for Arsenal to attract established players with their bad start to the season but they are still a stable club and with Wenger at the helm, youngsters have the chance to realise their potential.
Jovetic could develop into an excellent striker and Arsenal will hope to sign him in the future.