Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Is Matias Suarez Wenger's Secret Transfer Target?

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIDecember 15, 2011

Matias Suarez: Secret Arsenal Transfer Target?
Matias Suarez: Secret Arsenal Transfer Target?EuroFootball/Getty Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reportedly sent scouts to watch RSC Anderlecht forward Matias Suarez in action last night against Lokomotiv Moscow in the UEFA Europa League.

The 23-year-old is having a fine season so far for Anderlecht, both in the Jupiler League and in Europe, and has scored 14 goals and made eight assists in 24 games this season.

He would be available for around £6 million and Anderlecht could be tempted to sell given that his contract runs out in just over 18 months.

A somewhat secret transfer target, Suarez hasn't been properly linked with the Gunners as of yet, with suggestions to sign him coming mostly from Arsenal fan forums.

Amid rumours of Marouane Chamakh leaving and FC Cologne striker Lukas Podolski coming in, Wenger has suggested he might sign a striker in January.

He said: "We lose players like Chamakh and Gervinho to the Africa Cup of Nations so hopefully, touch wood, we do not get any injuries to our strikers."

"But if an opportunity turns up in that department then we will buy."

Matias Suarez could be that opportunity.

Valued at a price to Wenger's liking, with a very good record this season and no doubt unable to resist the call of one of the Premier League's top sides, the young Argentine might become the transfer target nobody knew about.

After all, it seems like Arsenal could do with a new forward. Whilst Robin Van Persie has been lighting up world football, both Park Chu-Young and a seemingly discontent Chamakh haven't proven themselves as worthy contenders to fill the Dutchman's boots.

However, fans on the official Liverpool forum have also been touting his name for a while, although it remains unclear if Kenny Dalglish and company are interested in creating a super Suarez strike partnership with namesake Luis.

So, what does the Anderlecht striker provide?

If anything, he gives a performance similar to Luis Suarez in that he's an all-round forward who can play anywhere along the front three.

Filling the gap left by Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, Matias Suarez has found himself in better positions to score goals this season, reflected by his tally this term.

Like Dries Mertens at PSV Eindhoven, he usually cuts inside from the wing to work a chance on goal, but he also cuts outside to whip in a cross—something he can do quite accurately, reflected by his eight assists this season.

To get more goals as well as assists, the Argentine worked hard on his finishing over the summer and it's starting to show.

Not only did he score seven Europa League goals in the group stages, but he netted in five of the six games having been an automatic starter for each match—making a sort of Radamel Falcao impact in Europe's second-tier competition.

In league play he's made more of an impact creating chances for teammates and has one of the best key pass totals in Belgium's top-flight.

Nonetheless Suarez has still managed to get among the goals and has scored seven in the Jupiler League so far this season, including important winners away to Lokeren and Gent.

With his goals and assists, Suarez makes a direct goalscoring contribution every time he starts a game for Anderlecht.

Signed from Argentine minnows Belgrano in 2008, Matias Suarez has steadily improved as a footballer and is now starting to show a bit of his true potential.

In his own words: "I feel better than last season. I have built up some muscle but, more importantly, have become stronger mentally."

He may already be 23, but like Javier Hernandez at Manchester United, Suarez is a player with the room for a lot more development.

And like Chicharito, could Suarez be the next big secret £6million signing to blitz the Premier League?

If a few things are clear, it's that Arsenal could do with a new forward, Matias Suarez provides good value for the money (with great possible re-sale value), and given Arsene Wenger's ability to develop raw potential into superstar talent, the current RSC Anderlecht forward could be the right man for the Gunners.


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