Arsenal’s need for a reliable, free-scoring striker is an issue that never seems to quite go away and is likely to crop up again this summer. Watford’s Odion Ighalo is one man who has been touted as a potential target and they could well make a move for the Nigerian striker at the end of the season.
Ighalo took the Premier League by storm in the first half of the campaign netting 13 Premier League goals by the turn of the year. Himself and Troy Deeney continued the formidable strike partnership that fired Watford to promotion last term and both players looked completely at home in the top flight.
His goals have been the single main reason why Watford are all but certain to be in the Premier League again next term. However it’s not gone quite so well for Ighalo so far in 2016.
He only has 1 goal in 12 Premier League appearances this calendar year and that along with a fairly unimpressive strike-rate before joining Watford in 2014 may put some doubts into the mind of potential interested parties including the Gunners.
A good fit?
On the face of it Arsenal and Ighalo look a good fit. Ighalo’s main assets are his pace and ability to finish and in that respect he could really do a job in North London.
Olivier Giroud has again been Arsenal’s principal striker this term but has scored fewer goals than Ighalo despite enjoying much better service.
With the likes of Mesut Özil creating chances for him, Ighalo would surely score a lot of goals were he to join Arsenal. The Gunners squad is overflowing with attacking creative midfielders but is lacking a natural predator to finish off all the chances they create.
The likes of Walcott, Welbeck and even Giroud may be better all-round players than Ighalo but on the evidence of this season at least the Nigerian is the better finisher and that is what Arsenal have been crying out for, for a long time.
Need for a strong end to season
If Odion Ighalo is serious about a move away though he could do with a strong end to the campaign to prove to his admirers that his early season form was not a one-off.
Watford still have an FA Cup Semi-Final to play and if Ighalo can deliver the goods on the big stage and perhaps add a few more Premier League goals to his tally he will become very hard to resist for top half clubs in need of a striker this summer.
There are of course more proven goalscorers around Europe but the Gunners would certainly find them harder to attract and considerably more expensive. In terms of the Premier League at least is is hard to think of striker who fits what they need better than Ighalo.
The Nigerian is 26 years old and heading into the prime of his career and certainly Arsenal could do a lot worse than make a move for the Watford man this summer.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
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