The summer transfer window is in full swing and we’re being linked with a new striker on a daily basis, something fans have become used to over the past 24 months.
For whatever reason, Arsene Wenger has been reluctant to splash out on a recognised striker and it seems as though this window will follow a similar pattern.
In fairness to the boss, there seems to be a shortage of top-class strikers available this window. For Wenger, the answer could be staring him in the face.
Over the past few years, Wenger has opted to search for ‘internal solutions’ rather than observing the market to strengthen the squad. On a number of occasions, that policy has affected us severely, often contributing directly to us losing points and subsequently falling short of winning the league.
On the rare occasion, however, a player who has been completely written off may rise through the ranks and prove to be a very useful option – as Francis Coquelin demonstrated.
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For the central striker role, fans seem to be unanimous in their calls for more pace to lead the line, with the stature Olivier Giroud provides becoming rather predictable.
Walcott was given his long-awaited chance in the final, but it was his performance six days prior to the Wembley showpiece which may have convinced Wenger that the former Southampton star was ready.
Playing against a high-line is too simple for Walcott, especially with the creative ammunition we have floating behind him. However, against a defensive unit as well drilled as Tony Pulis’s West Bromwich Albion side, Walcott came of age.
With little space to manoeuvre in and around the 18-yard box, he constantly found space and netted a superb hat-trick inside 30 minutes.
His first was reminiscent of Robin van Persie, dragging slightly wide and finding space in between the opposition’s full-back and centre-back before unleashing a sensational finish.
The extent to which we can read into a game as meaningless as the final Premier League fixture of the season can be debated, but the signs were definitely promising.
If Walcott wants to succeed as an Arsenal centre-forward, he will be faced by sides packing their defence and offering little space and he’s shown that a solution is within his makeup.
A marquee signing to fill the vacant No.9 shirt is definitely welcome, but who wouldn’t like to see a fearsome Walcott lead us to the Premier League title by playing as a central striker?