“Rating and slating Arsenal’s January transfer targets” is a guest post written by Zane Wilcox – an avid Arsenal supporter and Arsenal FC Blog reader from the United States.
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There is no doubt that we need a new striker with van Persie sidelined. But who?
I think it should be a more natural striker If it is they will certainly push van Persie more to the left, which in my mind is a more natural position for the Dutchman.
A few major targets have been discussed and I’d like to point out the positives and negatives of each of the four players that I consider to be major targets for Arsene Wenger: Edin Dzeko, André-Pierre Gignac, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and David Villa.
Jean-Pierre Gignac, 1.87m, 24 years-old, Toulouse
Gignac has capped for the French national team 10 times and has scored 4 goals in those appearances. He is a physical presence and can beat players on the ground as well as in the air. However, he has struggled against opposition of a higher quality. Even if you look at his performances in qualifying, specifically against Ireland, he just did not stand up.
Also, from many of the French blogs, it seems like he is a much streakier player than Arsenal are likely to invest in. His fitness and injury record is generally very high, however, which may lead Wenger to believe he is the right choice. His estimated price is roughly 12-14mil and that does seem to be well within our price range. Probability: 6/10
David Villa, 1.75m, 28 years-old, Valencia
I’ll start this by saying; I don’t think there is any chance that we will sign David Villa. His name is being thrown around by the media, and a lot of teams, but he is just not in the mold of a player Arsene will buy. Let’s start with the good however. Villa is arguably the best striker in the world, bar none. His game to goal ration for Spain as well as Valencia is basically unheard of.
He has scored 98 goals in 145 league games for Valencia, and 35 in 54 appearances for Spain. No doubt the man can strike but there is one main reason he will not ever appear in an Arsenal jersey, money. He has been valued by his own club at 40mil, which is obviously an insane amount. But recently Llorente has effectively priced everyone bar Real Madrid and Barcelona out of the race for his ace striker, stating that his value to the club is upwards of 80mil. Also, he’s Spanish and is not likely going to leave Spain for anything less than 40-50mil.
Finally, he is already 28 years old, while I do not believe that is too old; there is a Frenchman in London, in particular who would disagree. Also, he is about .15m shorter than the kind of aerial threat we really need as a striker. While he could be a dream come true come January I’d say the probability of him coming to Arsenal is about 2/10.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 1.86m, 26 years-old, AC Milan
Klaas, Klaas, Klaas… How badly I wanted you for my own two summers ago. You looked like you could answer our prayers especially with want away Adebayor whoring himself all over Europe. Alas, he stayed, you went to Madrid in January 2009 and everything has been downhill from there.
Well, two clubs, a season and a half, and less than a dozen goals later you are again looking for a club. Milan don’t love you as we would have, neither did Madrid. However, you’ve burned the bridge that would likely have led you to London. You have proven, in two top leagues that your form at Ajax was down more to poor competition than your own actual quality. You have size, pace and quality on your day. But I fear that that day has passed, enjoy heading back to the Eredivisie or some other second rate league. Or will you?
Would your plummeting price tag be enough to spur Le Gaffer to splash out on you? Even as a bizarre half season trial your quality may show through. I very much doubt that however, and your recent double in the league for Milan may very well be strengthening your position in the squad. Quality player, great nose for goal, chance he comes to Emirates? 4/10.
Edin Dzeko, 1.93m, 23 years-old, Wolfsburg
Well, I hope I haven’t been too transparent in my build up to the player I truly think we should well and truly pursue, Edin Dzeko. Dzeko has played out of skin for the last two seasons. For Wolfsburg he has been on fire and that form has translated to his performances for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He is large, 6ft 3in, and is absolutely killer in the air. With van Persie, arguably our best crosser of the ball, pushed wide, Dzeko could dominate in the penalty area with his size and athleticism. On the negative side, he has been playing in the Bundesliga, which is not nearly as tough of a league as the Premiership. I think his skill set translates very well though and he is still young which gives him time to adapt.
There are two major problems with gaining his signature come January, though. The first is competition. Seems like Wenger and Co. are not the only group to have noticed Dzeko’s increasing stature and quality. ManU, Chelsea and Milan have all been linking with the Bosnian. Secondly, the price tag poses something of a threat to our potential signing of Dzeko. I have heard reports that he is being shopped between 25-35mil. On the lower end of that I can just barely see Wenger justifying the purchase, on the upper end, no way.
If the price is right I think there is a 7 in 10 chance that he will in fact be the player coming to the Emirates this January.
What do you think?
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