Dream, Realistic, Wildcard: Three strikers | Virgin Media
Dream, Realistic, Wildcard: Three strikers

Dream, Realistic, Wildcard: Three strikers

01/08/2016Sport

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It’s been the eternal question for Arsenal fans over recent years: will Arsene Wenger sign a world-class striker?

Generally the answer has been a resounding no. Danny Welbeck was the last genuine striker to arrive at the club two years ago as the Gunners have consistently run into the same problems.

Olivier Giroud has toiled manfully up front by himself over the past two seasons as Arsenal have fallen short of their Premier League rivals.

This summer then - like all those that have come before - Arsenal need a striker, so let’s take a look at three options that tick the boxes.

Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Arsenal have already been publicly rebuked by Lyon for Lacazette, with an initial offer of £29.5 million rejected.

However, according to widespread reports, that hasn’t stopped Wenger from continuing his pursuit after Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano joined this summer.

Lacazette is in many ways the perfect fit stylistically for Arsenal, but it is his goals that will make the difference.

The 25-year-old has scored 48 of them over the past two seasons – the same as Giroud, Welbeck and Theo Walcott have managed between them.

The Frenchman offers a great deal more than just goals though, as his physicality and hold-up play encourages runners from midfield – a style of play that suits the Gunners.

With the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not available, Lacazette is the dream signing for Arsenal – and one that Wenger should not hesitate to pay top dollar for.

Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)

The Argentinian forward is the next name on this list of potential forwards the Gunners could sign.

Although he may command a sizeable fee, Icardi would fit the bill for Wenger. His addition would give Wenger greater options up front, either as competition for Giroud, or as a strike partner for the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old is a mobile forward and could play in a deeper role behind Giroud, looking to latch onto his knock-downs and stretch the defence by running in behind.

Alternatively, if Wenger sticks with the 4-2-3-1 formation of last season, Icardi is versatile enough to play on either flank and could also be used as an impact substitute.

Icardi was the fourth-highest scorer in Serie A last season, registering 16 for Inter, who finished in fourth place.

Despite being relatively young, he has four seasons of top-flight football under his belt and fits Wenger’s profile of preferring to sign younger players.

Considering recent reports, he also seems keen to move to a more elite club than Inter, making him a realistic option for the Gunners.

Carlos Bacca (AC Milan) 

The final option is Colombia international Bacca, who has been linked to various clubs this summer.

The 29-year-old is a proven goalscorer and although he is not top of Wenger’s list, he is a possibility that shouldn’t be dismissed, even though he is a bit of a wildcard.

Bacca has been linked to West Ham, who reportedly offered £26 million for his services last month, while Paris Saint-Germain have also been mentioned as a possible destination.

Bacca was not part of Milan’s pre-season tour of the USA and while manager Vincenzo Montella claimed this was so he could work on his fitness, the transfer rumours persist, suggesting he may be available for the right price.

Bacca was relied upon heavily by Milan last season, scoring 18 goals in Serie A – 12 more than the Rossoneri’s next nearest player.

He is a powerful forward who has a strong record with both Sevilla, where he won back-to-back Europa League titles, and Milan.

There are caveats however. His age does not make him a typical Wenger signing, while he also only joined the Italian club last summer in a £20 million move and therefore might not represent the best value.

But with options dwindling Wenger might feel compelled to move if he cannot land Lacazette.