It happens every summer. Every striker in the world that scored more than 10 goals in his respective league is connected with Arsenal in order to either replace Olivier Giroud in the starting eleven or become his back-up. If that player is a young francophone striker who is yet to prove himself at a level higher than Ligue 1, you can be assured he’ll get connected with Arsene Wenger’s short-list and Arsenal.
Although rumours about Vincent Aboubakar are yet to emerge, the Cameroonian striker ticks all the boxes. He is 22, had a very successful campaign with Lorient FC (16 goals in 35 matches) and was one of the very, very, very few members of the most disorganized bunch that I’ve ever seen at a World Cup that demonstrated some spirit, quality and desire to win.
He has pace, he can both score and create goals. 16 goals in 35 matches is not a bad return for someone who plays for a modest team in the goal-shy French top-tier. He is still young enough to both improve in the future and offer goals during his development (which is something that we can’t guarantee for Yaya Sanogo). Unlike other reported targets (Alexis Sanchez, Mario Mandžukić) Aboubakar didn’t give performances that would have made his price sky-rocketed. He will probably command a fee between £12 – 15 million. There is also a close connection between Arsenal and Lorient FC (we bought Koscielny from them) so we might get a better price for the Cameroonian.
His price tag is not as irrelevant as one might think given our war-chest is somewhere between £50 – 100 million. Wenger has already passed on Fabregas because there are priorities on our shopping-list – a right full-back, a back-up goalkeeper and a striker.
From what I’ve seen I can’t say that his pace is Walcott-esque but is more mobile and pacey than Giroud. Given that the Gunners boss has already shown that he is willing to play with two strikers at some stage of the game (one might even say that Wenger has won all his trophies with Arsenal with two strikers on the pitch – even against Hull City, Giroud and Yaya Sanogo were both on the pitch when our come-back happened), Aboubakar might fit the “can play with and without Giroud”-profile of a striker wanted by Wenger last summer. Joel Campbell’s excellent performances at World Cup might have reduced our desire for a new striker but it would be suicide to let another summer go without adding another prolific striker to our ranks.
Now, is Aboubakar the right player for Arsenal? Share your thoughts in comments below!