Up until the New Year, the Arsenal blogosphere is going to be littered with striker rumours left, right and centre. The latest line of attackers to be linked with a winter move to north London are former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.
The former now plies his trade with French side Lille, and has been linked with a move to England in January with a reported £2.5m release clause available in his contract.
The Ivory Coast international had a fruitful six years before leaving the Blues in 2012 despite falling out of favour with Chelsea’s various managers, and has been regularly linked with the Gunners over the past few summers.
He’s been there and done that, the 28-year-old has won the Champions League, Premier League and four FA Cup titles and would settle back into London life quickly should the Gunners move to activate his release clause.
But despite his impressive CV he was hardly a pivotal figure during his time with Chelsea, often utilized on the wing and over shadowed by Drogba and Anelka during his years in West London. This season for Lille he’s netted three times with one assist in 13 appearances – hardly prolific but he would offer versatility and depth in the wide areas too.
A more realistic transfer rumour involves Edin Dzeko, a tall, powerful forward that has largely been in the shadows of Tevez, Balotelli, Aguero and now Negredo during his time in Manchester.
The striker has often been prolific and was quite regularly utilized by Mancini, however this season he has very much been on the periphery, a position that is less than ideal with the World Cup beckoning next summer in Brazil.
The Mirror’s John Cross reported Arsenal’s interest in the City man, who has often stated his desire to play regular football and is becoming frustrated with his time with the 2011/12 Champions.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international is also attracting interest from Italian giants Inter Milan, but the Gunners may prove to be a more desirable destination as he is already settled into English life and adapted to the Premier League.
The great debate among Gooners has been whether to replace, compliment or provide backup for Giroud. For Wenger the idea is the latter, he has a lot of faith in his compatriot however the summer bid for Suarez did suggest otherwise.
At the moment Giroud is very much the style of forward we need, someone who can get on the end of crosses (when the wingers return) and who can hold up play to work with the ball playing midfielders.
This season the Frenchman has come on in leaps and bounds, proving a very useful figure at the spearhead of Arsenal’s while also helping out the defence on set pieces.
The most desirable options are Dzeko or potentially United’s Hernandez, both are adapted to England and would be able to provide an immediate impact. The City striker is in a similar mould to Giroud, but offers more pace and power up front. He is also more capable of scoring from outside the box than his French counterpart, however whether he can hold up the ball as well as the Arsenal frontman remains to be seen. Dzeko has proven he can be prolific and would be an interesting acquisition while also weakening Cities depth (something they may not allow).
On the other hand Hernandez could offer something completely different, he is more of a agile, skillful centre forward. But with the way the Gunners are set up at present it’s difficult to see the Mexican fitting into Wenger’s system. He would be more of an alternative to Giroud and be utilized more often than not from the bench, a role he is already occupying at United.
Of all the names linked with the Gunners so far, including the likes of Pato and Llorente, Dzeko is the front runner for me and Arsenal should pull out all the stops to lure him in January. Suarez won’t be going anywhere in the winter. What are your thoughts Gooners?