Arsenal failed to bring in a new centre-forward in the winter transfer window. Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette, both out of contract in the summer, look likely to follow the footsteps of ex-teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 32-year-old Gabon international recently signed for FC Barcelona on a free transfer.
Arsenal also have youngsters Folarin Balogun and Tyreece John-Jules out on loan. The Gunners require reinforcements in the frontline, and we have shortlisted five players Edu could explore:
1. Alexander Isak:
Alexander Isak has been on Arsenal’s radar for a long time now. The Gunners were linked with a move for the 22-year-old after missing out on Dusan Vlahovic. The interest has not waned since the transfer window slammed shut too.
In the past, Isak has expressed his desire to play in England and is also close friends with Arsenal player Martin Odegaard. FC Barcelona could be a trouble maker to the deal, however. The Catalan giants have been pursuing Erling Haaland as a centre-forward signing for over a year now. Reports suggest that Isak could be Barcelona’s Plan-B if they fail to land Borussia Dortmund’s star man.
The Swedish centre-forward has a release clause of £75m but Arsenal will be hoping they could sign him for less. Isak is a player well involved in the deeper areas of the field too. He offers a lot in the build-up phase though he isn’t that prolific in front of the goal. The 22-year-old would be a like-for-like replacement for the departing Alexandre Lacazette.
2. Dominic Calvert-Lewin:
A player from within the Premier League itself. Calvert-Lewin has been linked with a move away from Merseyside for over two years now. The English centre-forward has 29 league goals to his name across the last two seasons. This season, Calvert-Lewin has scored 3 times in under 700 minutes of game time. The 24-year-old has missed 17 games from a fractured toe.
Calvert-Lewin has been valued at £60 million by Everton. A deleted tweet from back in 2013 has revealed the Englishman’s affection for the Gunners, which could lend Arsenal a slender advantage over competitors.
Calvert-Lewin is the exact opposite profile of Alexander Isak. The 24-year-old does very little outside the box but is an absolute menace close to the goal. In the penalty area, the Everton forward can win aerial duels, anticipate passes or mistakes and find the perfect position to receive the ball.
However, he is not that effective in creating chances for his teammates or providing an additional body in the mid-field, as Arsenal’s forwards often do. The English centre-forward offers Arsenal an option as a player whom the game flows TO, rather than THROUGH. His addition would provide Arteta with an additional dimension in attack.
3. Armando Broja
20-year-old Armando Broja has turned heads with impressive performances this season. On loan from Chelsea, Broja has complimented Che Adams well in Hassenhuttl’s 4-4-2 set-up. The Albanian has 6 goals to his name so far this season.
Broja caught Frank Lampard’s eye during the current Everton manager’s stint at Chelsea. In fact, Lampard handed Broja his first-team debut; in a 4-0 win over the Toffees. Lampard also had some praise reserved for the Albanian recently:
“I gave him his debut at Chelsea. He’s a good lad, a very talented young boy.
He came to us at the start of the Covid times and trained with us and is showing his attributes with Southampton now.
Fast, strong. Has a real eye for goal. A very, very good player. I’m very aware of his strength.”
Once his spell at Southampton ends, reports suggest that Broja could also be willing to join Arsenal. A stay at Chelsea seems highly unlikely, as Broja falls behind Kai Havertz, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and others in the pecking order. The 20-year-old may prefer a switch to the Emirates over St.Mary’s to fulfil his ambition of playing European football. Broja could be valued at just around £25 million, well below some of Arsenal’s other options.
Broja is another player most prominent inside the penalty area. However, he does like to get involved in play around the box and likes to take on and beat his man whenever possible. While his decision-making, especially in the final third, is a work in progress, the 20-year-old has plenty of time in his hand. He is fairly well-rounded as a centre-forward signing and would make a great addition for Arsenal.
4. Jonathan David
The Canadian centre-forward has 12 league goals for Lille this season. David has declared his love for Arsenal in the past on several occasions. In an interview, the 22-year-old heaped praise on Arsene Wenger’s legendary team. Edu is reportedly a huge admirer of the Canadian as well.
David’s agent has confirmed that the 22-year-old will most likely leave in the summer, and also acknowledged interest from various clubs like Real Madrid, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. £47m is what Lille value their star striker, according to reports from Jeunes Footeux.
David will be a very complete centre-forward option for Arsenal. Although he is not particularly renowned for his physical prowess, the Canadian establishes a dominant presence in the box and is always threatening close to the goal. He is also adept at dropping deeper to support his midfield.
However, Arsenal could be taking a slight gamble by splashing around £50 million on a player with no Premier League experience, but David Jonathan has the qualities to excel in Arteta’s system.
5. Raul De Tomas
Raul De Tomas was never able to establish himself in his boyhood club Real Madrid. However, the Spaniard has had impressive stints with Cordoba, Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano in Spain. Last season, De Tomas had 23 goals and 3 assists for Espanyol in the Spanish second division, helping the Catalan side secure promotion.
The 27-year-old has carried his form into the top-flight, with 13 goals and 3 assists in 23 games. De Tomas was linked with a move to the Emirates as an alternative to Vlahovic in the winter. He has a release clause of around £60 million according to reports.
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De Tomas has more experience than any of the other options. However, £60 million seems steep as a price for a player quickly approaching his peak. Arsenal could keep the Spanish centre-forward as a backup option but should focus on more economical or younger options to fill the void in the attack.
Who should Arsenal target in the summer transfer window? Let us know in the comments.
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