Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is plotting a shock move to bring in former Chelsea stricker Salomon Kalou back to the Premier League, according to reports in Metro.
The Gunners are said to have held talks with the Ligue 1 club over a permanent deal for the 28-year-old, who has also attracted strong interest from West Brom this summer.
Kalou, who now plays for Lille OSC, could be available for £2.6 million and will ask for wages in the region of £60,000 per week. The 28-year-old left Stamford Bridge last summer after making only 16 starts in all competitions in a miserable 2011/12 campaign. He has however revitalized his career in France, and enjoyed a very good season with Lille. The winger bagged 16 goals in all competitions, and also set up his team mates 6 times.
It is believed the Gunners Premier League rivals Liverpool, Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion were also interested in Kalou but the salary demands meant no deal came to fruition.
Kalou might not the most prolific scorer by any means, but his speed and counter-attacking ability would be invaluable for a coach like Wenger who relies on grit and stout defense to be successful. The 28 year old has immense experience of playing in the Premier League having turned out more than 150 times for his previous club Chelsea.
The winger is believed to be a priority signing for Arsene Wenger, given the injury to Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the lack of striking options with France international Olivier Giroud is the only fit senior striker available and Kalou will be expected to use his experience of the Premier League to good effect if he joins the Emirates club.
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While Lille would be keen to hold on to him, the decision could well rest on Kalou’s shoulders, and the chance to prove his worth in the Premier League, after being axed by Chelsea, may motivate him to make a return.
The report stated that he has a £2.6 million release clause which means Wenger will definitely be interested. He comes cheap and boasts of Premier league experience which will appeal to Wenger. Arsenal fans will no doubt look to Kalou’s questionable form in his last few seasons at Chelsea, and will not be excited by the potential deal. Even though he performed very well for Lille but we should realize the fact that the quality of French league is different from Premier League.
Kalou would be a huge step down from the quality of players fans were promised this summer, but will at the very least add something to Arsenal bench which is in dearth of strikers at the moment. I don’t think signing Kalou would add much to the quality of the side, Wenger need to spend now or risk the wrath of the fans.
What do you say Gooners?