Arsenal fans have craved the signing of a world-class centre forward for longer than they care to remember – but do the Gunners actually need a superstar striker to capture a major trophy?
The signs at present suggest maybe not, although some would say it’s still far too early to judge considering the annual Arsenal meltdown usually occurs somewhat deeper into the season.
But scoring goals has not been a problem so far, and the encouraging thing for manager Arsene Wenger is that they have flowed from the boots of players who are well established at the club.
To be fair, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did cost Arsenal a total of almost £101.2 million in transfer fees over the course of the last decade or so.
Plenty of money has therefore been invested in them, with wages too of course, but a total of 27 goals from that quartet up to the end of October is an excellent return and indicates that Wenger may have been right not to break the bank to bring in a Higuain, Cavani or Benzema.
None of the current fab four is an out-and-out striker, of course. They have all spent much of their careers playing out wide or ‘in the hole’ and still do in some cases.
However, Wenger has long seen Walcott as a No 9 due to his electric pace, even if the player himself is not convinced, while Sanchez looks to have qualities similar to Luis Suarez – technically excellent but as strong as an ox and a terrific finisher.
There was an inexpensive striker signing in the summer, of course, with Lucas Perez brought in from Deportivo La Coruna for a fee of £17million. The Spaniard has yet to make a real impact though, partly due to injury and partly because of the fine form being shown by his team-mates.
When fit again, Perez may have to settle for a back-up role such as that being played currently by Olivier Giroud who now appears to be the Plan B off the substitutes’ bench.
And then there is Danny Welbeck when he is ready to return from his persistent injury problems, with Yaya Sanogo seemingly jettisoned and youngster Chuba Akpom getting only the occasional look-in for League Cup ties and the like.
Having been the Arsenal manager for over two decades now, Wenger is clearly into the final few years of his reign and indeed there have been calls for him to go quickly by supporters disillusioned with only a couple of FA Cup successes since the silverware spree began to dry up.
The Frenchman may, however, have finally found the formula that brings elusive glory in the Premier League or Champions League – by sticking to his principles when the alternative may have been easier.
Arsenal are currently 5/1 with Sky Bet, so still considered outsiders but these are not bad odds for a team that is in form, scoring goals and generally speaking keep a tight defence. A £10 bet can bring back £50, so might be worth placing a few pounds on Arsenal to actually go all the way this season and win the Premier League for the first time since 2003/4 and there’s plenty of Sky Bet promotions available which offer deposit bonuses if you do decided Arsenal stand a good chance this season.