Arsenal’s need for a striker is a long-term problem Arsene Wenger has seemingly hoped would go away. Last season Arsenal fans spent plenty of time worrying what would happen if Olivier Giroud picked up an injury. He might not be the best, and is always a victim of football banter from the stands, but he is certainly better than the alternatives.
Fast forward to August 2014 and the supporters’ fears have been realised. Giroud is out long-term, as is Theo Walcott, and Yaya Sanogo has proven he isn’t ready to replace him. People talk about Alexis Sanchez, Lukas Podolski and Joe Campbell being stand-ins but when you look at the attributes Giroud brings to the team, these three clearly don’t suit the lone striker role, and neither does new arrival Danny Welbeck.
That brings us on to the options available to Arsenal outside the Emirates, namely one Radamel Falcao. Monaco have been desperate to get rid all summer but have just struggled to find anyone who would match their asking price and his wages. The Colombian’s recovery from a serious knee has also affected potential suitors, until transfer deadline day when Manchester United pounced.
United fans might be wondering why they have signed another forward when what they need are midfielders and defenders but, as the old saying goes, you can’t have enough quality players.
That begs the question why have Arsenal not taken a chance on a striker who has a phenomenal record in front of goal? 68 goals in 86 games for Atletico Madrid, followed by 11 in 17 for Monaco and 20 goals in 50 appearances for Colombia. Those are numbers which any fan would get excited about.
The majority of reports suggest Arsenal decided against the move because it was too expensive, putting the finances first once again. But how costly will it be if Arsenal miss out on the Champions League? Certainly it will cost the club more than United are paying for his loan spell at Old Trafford.
In light of another mixed transfer window it is tough to stay positive and suggest Arsenal will win more silverware this season. Some fans might even fill their football accumulators in now for those games against the top sides, and they are unlikely to plump for the Gunners. It looks like Wenger’s transfer dealings have split the camp again. He proved many wrong last year, but can he do it again?