By Elliot Brown.
The word ‘complete’ is a word that is often thrown around a lot in today’s footballing sphere and most of the time prematurely or undeservingly so. But never has a word best befitted a modern day centre forward more so than Everton’s want away hitman Romelu Lukaku.
Unrivalled physical strength coupled with his blistering pace off the mark, as well as his ability to find the back of the net on a regular basis makes the Belgian striker an obvious choice for most of Europe’s elite clubs, but here are 5 reasons as to why Arsenal, albeit with or without Arsene Wenger at the helm should break the bank for ‘Big Rom’ in light of his recent decision not to sign a new contract at Goodison Park (according to BBC).
The most obvious, and perhaps, the most important reason, for Lukaku to be on Arsenal’s radar this summer is his outstanding goalscoring record. The Belgian target man first blessed the Premier League with his goal-scoring prowess in the 2012/13 season whilst on loan at West Bromwich Albion, whereby he netted 17 times in 35 games as a 19 year old! And it is safe to say that the big-man hasn’t looked back since, hitting double figures in every season he’s played for Everton, including a staggering 19 goals already this season with 11 games to go!
To say that the Gunners have been a one man team in terms of Premier League goalscoring this season would be an understatement. Alexis Sanchez has stood alone as the only Arsenal player to get into double figures in league goals this season. So the added goal threat of Romelu Lukaku would 100% take the pressure off the flamboyant Chilean and will no doubt improve our endeavours in regards to our goal-difference, which has been below average in recent seasons.
One of the biggest criticisms of recent Arsenal teams is our lack of physical presence in key areas of the pitch, which perhaps has allowed lesser teams to enjoy playing against the Gunners at times. With Giroud constantly in and out of the side, Mertesacker no longer deemed as a first team regular and Xhaka failing to make his physical presence felt this season, as well as both our main centre halves, Mustafi and Koscielny, Arsenal have lacked a consistent strong presence at both ends of the pitch. Barely over 6ft tall, Lukaku’s natural physicality, strength and presence would be a welcome addition to the Arsenal starting 11.
Premier League Experience
To say that experience playing in Europe’s elite league is an invaluable trait to possess would be a profound understatement. It goes without saying that if a player can make it in the ‘Prem’ they can play anywhere in the world. Arsenal, on too many occasions, have bought players from different countries whereby their ‘settling in period’ has come at the cost of the team as a whole. Giroud, Eduardo, Mertesacker, Xhaka and even Laurent Koscielny, just to name a few, were slow to ‘take’ to the English game and their inability to adapt to the quicker pace of the Premier League effected the Arsenal somewhere down the line.
In contrast, Romelu Lukaku took to the demands of the English league like a duck to water, seemingly improving on every aspect of his game year by year. If Arsenal were to land a deal to sign the Everton forward he would be expected to hit the ground running at the Emirates, not only in terms of goals but performances as well, an expectation that he has already shown he is capable of playing under.
Big Game Player
Arsenal as a squad are blessed with talented players. Some would say that the Gunners have one of the most talented and naturally gifted squads in Europe. So why exactly do we seem to ‘bottle’ games against the bigger sides in the Premier League and in Europe? Truth is we will never fully know. But what we do know is that some of our more important players don’t seem to perform to the best of their abilities against rival teams. Romelu Lukaku has proved that he isn’t that type of player. In an Everton side whereby he is undoubtedly the main player, ‘Big Rom’ has shown time and time again that he does not shy away from the big occasion, finding the back of the net against Arsenal (again), at home to Manchester City this season and, most recently, away to Spurs.
The fact that Romelu Lukaku would be available this summer is by far and large the main reason as to why Arsenal should break the bank. Arsenal have been linked with some of the best strikers in Europe in recent transfer windows, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain just to name a couple, however the prospect of signing such players always seemed like distant fantasies.
Ask yourself; how many times have you heard Arsene Wenger say: ‘We will only be in the market for top quality players if they are available’? In Lukaku there is a potentially world-class centre forward with ample Premier League experience, and undeniable goalscoring ability who craves Champions League football.
After rejecting an extremely lucrative new contract at Goodison Park it is clear that the Belgian would be available for a transfer if the price is right. So, instead of sitting there and letting him go back to Chelsea, and in couple of years say ‘we could’ve signed him’, next summers transfer targets, whether Mr.Wenger is in charge or not, should be based around Romelu Lukaku as our number one addition for the 2017/18 season. Maybe that could be a catalyst for players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to follow suit and sign on the dotted line.