According to goal.com, the Gunners have set their sights on Athletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez ahead of the January transfer window, where Wenger will look to reinforce the Arsenal attacking front-line.
Much speculation has surrounded Fernando Llorente recently, however as he is a similar mold to current forward Olivier Giroud in stature, build and style, another Spanish striker has moved further forward in the transfer pecking order – Adrian.
The former Deportivo La Coruna hit-man can play anywhere across the front three, similarly to Podolski, however he is preferred as a centre forward and has represented Spain at all age groups including a stellar display in the U21 Euros last summer where he netted a tournament-high five goals as La Roja won yet another tournament.
The 24 year-old has been used sparingly this season with Athletico’s main man Falcao causing destruction and Adrian’s contractual situation yet to be resolved as it is believed the Spaniard has a £14.6 million release clause in his contract which Wenger could activate this winter window to open talks.
A goal.com source stated:
Adrian fits the bill for Arsenal. There is interest in Llorente but he is too similar to Giroud. Wenger wants a striker who is more pacy and can run in behind.
They feel they can get Adrian for a reasonable price because of the buy-out clause. Wenger wants the deal done at the beginning of January.
Similarly to Cazorla prior to his Arsenal move, Adrian has been on the fringes of the Spanish side, and despite scoring on his senior debut against Serbia prior to Euro 2012, he didn’t manage to make the final squad but the Spanish coach stated: “His time will come.”
He is a skillful forward that likes to take players on, decent in the air and is a versatile attacking player that can play out wide, behind a central striker or up front on his own and most importantly can score goals. Imagine the slick linkup play that could eventuate between Santi and Adrian!
The forward would a great addition to the squad and will provide a different, more agile approach to the front line than Giroud offers which will provide more depth and options for Wenger to play with. Another important matter to note is that Gervinho will be gone for the entirety of January for the African Nations Cup and with Walcott’s future still to be decided, Wenger has to make a move in the winter window for a forward otherwise it will be detrimental to Arsenal’s title and Cup hopes after Christmas.
He is available at a very cheap price due to his £14.6 million release clause, and the Gunners will need to act quickly as he will be hot property if he continues to delay signing a new deal that will wipe the clause. What are your thoughts on Adrian? Think he would be a top quality acquisition? Feel free to comment below or in his thread in the allArsenal forum.