Although it remains to be seen whether Jamie Vardy fancies an Arsenal move this summer, impatient Arsene Wenger has already begun weighing up alternatives, reportedly. Daniel Sturridge is seemingly the prime alternative, at least according to Daily Express.
The Gunners are looking to add to their strike-force after the club’s medical team confirmed that striker Danny Welbeck would be on the sidelines until the rear end of the 2016/17 campaign.
Even Wenger surprisingly admitted that he would bring in three outfield players this summer.
With only a handful of strikers available — check out O-Posts’ five realistic striker targets for Arsenal — a move for the Liverpool striker sounds sensible.
Praveen R. Paramasivam breaks down the rumour.
Will he fit in at Arsenal?
The 26-year-old relishes the challenges defenders cause and is known for his unpredictability in the 18-yard box.
Labelled as the most technical English striker, he is as selfish as a top-scorer of a club like Arsenal should be and has the pace no centre-back would fancy going up against.
Although his injury record is an area of concern, he ranks amongst the Premier League’s best strikers when he is fit; much to his credit, he certainly boasts the drive required to bounce back after an injury.
As he is effective both whilst leading the line-up and operating down the flanks, he can turn out to be a top-notch addition. He can challenge Olivier Giroud for a place in the starting lineup and can cash in on the Frenchman’s hold-up play and exquisite first touches should Arsene Wenger play them together.
The Emirates Stadium faithful have been craving for a pacy, clinical finisher, who is excellent on the ball.
Arsenal’s long search for one such player will end should Sturridge pose with an Arsenal shirt.
What would it mean to Arsenal’s strikers?
Besides Arsenal’s top-scorer Giroud, the other four centre-forwards in Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Chuba Akpom, and Yaya Sanogo all combined to score a measly 22 goals in 65 starts and 55 substitute appearances across all competitions for the clubs they plied their trade at last season.
The fact that Giroud himself only enjoyed mixed fortunes underlines the dire need of striker reinforcements.
Having notched 13 goals in 19 starts last season, Sturridge stands a serious chance of becoming the first-choice centre-forward, thus making Giroud an able understudy or an effective Plan B.
In addition, Sturridge replicating his Liverpool form at Ashburton Grove may sound the death knell for Walcott’s chances of regaining his status as a first-teamer.
Twenty-three-year-old Sanogo will need to depart the club whilst Akpom may consider leaving, preferably on loan.
What should the Gooners be wary of?
The England international has missed 497 days — 96 games — due to injuries since October 2009.
In an interview with BT Sports in February 2015, he revealed that he would never compromise his playing style to avoid injuries; he has missed 233 days or 33 games thanks to injuries to his hip and hamstring and an unfortunate edema in the knee since.
Despite his undoubted talent, the chances are that he would sustain another injury in the event of not tweaking his playing style. As Arsenal are already known to breed injury prone players, they should assess his injury pattern and the chances of recurrence of injuries before they launch a formal bid.
Even if Arsenal’s interest is concrete, they might still end up not bringing him down to N5 as Liverpool already lack in the attacking department and are looking to rebuild under Jurgen Klopp.
With Christian Benteke certain to be transfer listed, the Reds will only have Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino on their books; they will likely resist a bid.
However, if Arsenal manage to see eye to eye with their former title rivals on a transfer fee, they can head into the 2016/17 campaign with their chins up.
Written by Praveen Paramasivam
Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen
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