It seems to be the norm with Arsenal now. They get themselves in a good position to challenge for the title until around February or March, when a couple of poor performances throw it away. We normally then all come to the conclusion that Arsenal haven’t spent enough money in the transfer market and Arsene Wenger’s tactics are outdated. Though both of those facts may be correct, it may be time to look at Arsenal’s failure to score goals at big times in the Premier League, and in particular the failure to sign a top class striker.
Although Olivier Giroud scored his 20th goal of the season against Hull on Tuesday night, you still get the feeling that he runs hot and cold at times, and he isn’t a player who really suits Arsenal’s style. The Frenchman is certainly a good striker, but he isn’t the world class finisher that Arsenal need if they are to win the title.
If you look at teams who have won the title over the last few years, they have more often than not had a man at their disposal who has scored at least 20 league goals. Last season Chelsea had Diego Costa, and this time around Leicester City and Tottenham have Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane respectively.
Theo Walcott has been talked about in the past as a man who could be a top striker, but ten years into his Gunners career, and we are still to find out what his best position is, and he is still to reach the potential that he was signed for in 2006. Danny Welbeck returned to the Emirates with a late winner against Leicester in February, but he is another man who has never had a full season where he has scored goals consistently.
In the past Arsenal have been linked with moves for the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Edinson Cavani, but nothing has materialised. Signing one of these two, or a player of that calibre, would certainly improve Arsenal’s hopes of winning the title.
As it stands, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season as his PSG contract comes to an end. He is certainly the type of seasoned goalscorer that Arsenal need, and he would be a definite upgrade on Giroud. Wenger however has a record of going for younger players who can improve at the Emirates, so the Swede may not fit the bill.
If Wenger is committed to winning the Premier League again before his time at Arsenal eventually comes to an end, he must go out and sign a top striker. With the finances now available to the North London club, they are capable of going big on a new man up top, and it is certainly something they must look to do.