As the summer transfer window moves closer, there is increasing unrest in the Arsenal camp about who will lead their attack next season, with their current strikers being the subject of transfer speculation. Will it be Eddie Nketiah or Gabriel Martinelli, or another ill-fated signing while ignoring the assets at their disposal.
Both of Arsenal’s strikers have been the subject of transfer rumours of late, with the suggestion that Aubameyang is of interest to Barcelona and Manchester United, whilst Lacazette is said to be looking for a move elsewhere (possibly Atletico Madrid ) to realise his Champions League ambitions.
Of the two, Aubameyang looks more likely to leave in the summer with links to Barcelona getting more plausible with each passing day, but don’t rule out the departure of the misfiring Frenchman as Arteta remodels the side. If either of those moves happens, it will create a massive void in the squad and cost them around 35 goals per season in all competitions.
This season, Aubameyang’s goals have kept Arsenal out of trouble but who would be capable of filling that gap? Would Arsenal look for a replacement or would they trust in the talent they already have?
Hammarby’s 17-year-old striker Emil Roback and Brentford’s Ollie Watkins (24) are said to be Arsenal targets, but that possibility ignores the talent that is already at their disposal in the form of Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli.
Could one or both eventually fill the considerable shoes of the Gabon striker and his French partner? Out of the two, Martinelli appears to be the more likely option because of the way he has adapted to the Premier League.
Gabriel Martinelli is not the finished article but everyone recognises that his immense talent and potential could make him a future Arsenal and international superstar. He is the closest thing anyone has seen to a mixture of Henry and Ronaldo and if he proves half as good as either, Arsenal will have come up trumps.
His current valuation is £25.2m, having cost just £7.5m but forget cashing in on a potential £17.7m profit, this boy has to be kept at the club at all costs and beyond his contract which expires in 2024.
Of course, Eddie Nketiah is a fine prospect and is finding his feet in the elite English Premier League, but he understandably remains in the Brazilian’s shadow.
The problem for Arsenal is that Eddie Nketiah won’t wait any longer to get his chance if a space becomes available. After a series of loan deals, the player is said to be looking at a make or break situation where he gains his place in the first team or moves out to get his opportunity.
It’s another dilemma for the club, but one they will have to accept. Whomever Arsenal chooses, they will need to provide better service and creativity because both strikers have had to fend for themselves on various occasions.
Imagine how many goals Aubameyang would have by now if he was assisted by the likes of Dennis Bergkamp or if Mesut Ozil was still the class act he was just three or so seasons ago.
Feyenoord attacking midfielder Orkun Kokcu would be a welcome addition, as would Valencia’s Carlo Soler, to create the opportunities with the assistance of Saka and Pepe on the flanks. This would provide Martinelli with the chance to show his true worth and exhibit his class and style.