Arsenal Transfer Prospects: The 5 Biggest Strikers Linked to the Gunners
A striker appears to be Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's biggest priority come the January transfer window despite captain Robin van Persie's scintillating 2011 form, which has commanded 39 goals in 43 appearances since the year began and 30 goals in the English Premier League during 2011/2012, fourth in England.
However deputy striker Marouane Chamakh has contrasted van Persie's 2011 form with a huge diminish in confidence and ability. The Moroccan, who signed as a free agent last summer, began his Arsenal career brightly, but since 2011, the 28-year-old has become a major liability, scoring just twice in the year.
There are strong calls for Chamakh's departure whilst van Persie will forever hold injury concerns due to the consistent complaints suffered in his early tenure at the Gunners.
Furthermore South Korean captain Chu Young-Park, who signed from AS Monaco this summer, is still adapting to the physicality of English football.
Wenger boasts a £50 million transfer budget at his disposal, which is enough to attract world football's best talent and that is what the Frenchman is set to achieve. With van Persie still under contract concerns for next season, many have called for big name signings to enhance the chances of the inform Dutchman extending his contract at the Emirates.
Fortunately Wenger seems to be on track with some big-name strikers linked with a move to north London.
5. Salomon Kalou-Chelsea
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
The Metro has announced that Chelsea are willing to listen to offers for Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou, and Wenger is said to be keen on a move for the 26-year-old. Kalou has become an integral part of the Blues attack for a number of seasons now, amassing over 200 appearances for Chelsea, alongside 57 goals.
A fast, clinical forward whose versatility enables him to play all across the front line, the Ivory Coast international has Premier League experience and would be easily able to gel into the Gunners' quick, incisive attack.
Kalou has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge due to the compacted forward range that boasts Nicolas Anelka, Daniel Sturridge, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres. It is unclear how much Andres Villas-Boas would demand for Salomon Kalou.
4. Moussa Sow-OSC Lille
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
The Daily Mail has reported OSC Lille striker Moussa Sow is keen to make a January move to the Emirates. The Senegalese striker, who was the 2010/2011 Ligue 1 top scorer with 25, as OSC Lille achieved their first French title in 57 years, has desires to play in the English Premier League and has also stated he wants to be reunited with former teammate Gervinho, who joined Arsenal this Summer from the Mastiffs.
A powerful, composed and energetic striker who has developed rapidly in recent years, many have voiced their desire to see the 25-year-old at Arsenal due to his work-rate and clinical finishing.
OSC Lille are willing to accept offers of excess £15 million.
3. Marco Reus-Borussia Mönchengladbach
Just Arsenal News has confirmed Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Marco Reus is a prime target for Arsene Wenger in January, with Wenger eager to exercise a £15 million clause in the German's contract.
Reus is versatile player capable of fulfilling a role as an attacking midfielder as well as an out-and-out striker. Arsene Wenger has become particularly impressed with the 22-year-old, who boasts an outstanding 11 goals in 11 appearances in 2011/2012, including a hat trick in Mönchengladbach's most recent game.
This follows 37 appearances and 12 goals last campaign. An evasive and dynamic playmaker, Reus possesses impressive composure and power as a playmaker and has shown an emphatically clinical nature in his game.
2. Lukas Podolski-FC Koln
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
The Week has reported that German international Lukas Podolski is a top target for Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman is hoping to make the 26-year-old his first winter signing. It is believed Podolski is valued at £20 million by German Bundesliga club FC Koln and Wenger is willing to pay the sum.
Podolski has been in impressive form for the German side, amassing 14 goals in 32 appearances last season before nine in 12 during 2011/2012. A powerful and quick striker, the 26-year-old has long been touted to thrive in the English Premier League and Wenger has always remained a fan of the striker.
1. Alexandre Pato-AC Milan
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Crunch Sports have reported that Arsenal have joined the race for AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato and are readying a January bid for the 22-year-old. The Brazilian has long been one of the best young strikers in Europe following emerging onto the world football scene as a 16-year-old with Brazilian giants Internacional.
Since making his debut for the Italian giants at 18, Pato has gone on to amass 133 appearances and 59 goals for AC Milan. The Brazil international managed 16 goals in 33 appearances last season as Milan won both the Serie A and Supercoppa Italiana.
A fast, strong striker who would be an emphatic signing for Arsenal.