It’s never really been Arsene Wenger’s strongest suit. Whilst the Frenchman has exhibited a penchant for selecting the speedy, the tricky and the skillful striker, his ability to pick a ‘traditional number nine’ to lead the line has been seen to be somewhat wanting. Over the past ten years or so, a number have been tried, but for various reasons, none fitted the bull – well, not for long anyway.
In recent times, we’ve seen the likes of Chamakh apparently be courted for a prolonged period. After his arrival however it became clear quite quickly – although perhaps not as quickly to Wenger – that he was not the answer. Others such as Niklas Bendter have flattered for a while, if only to deceive in the longer term and be farmed out. Even Adebayor, who looked to have all of the required equipment to be a long term star for the Gunners was not destined for a long stay. His nomadic wanderings amongst clubs since suggest that this was not an untypical trait. Whilst it may be a tad early to label the current incumbent, Giroud, as another in the line, Arsenal are rumoured to be looking for another striker in the same mold.
Supposedly with a substantial war chest of transfer funds to spend, it’s no surprise that the Gunners have been linked with a number of strikers around Europe. The German-based Pole, Lewandoski is a name that keeps cropping up, but given the high reputation of the player, should he leave Dortmund, the fee may be something in the region that disconcerts the ever-prudent Wenger; especially for a player unproven in English football – as was the case of many other previous strikers.
The new ‘rumour on the block’ appears to be Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko. With or without the uncertainty swirling around the future of Roberto Mancini, the likelihood of the Bosnian moving on in the summer appears to be quite high. Talk of a return to German football, where Dzeko built his reputation is persistent, but whether the fee and wages he would command could be a little rich for Bundesliga clubs, outside of Bayern, is a debatable point. A deal to take him to north London therefore potentially ‘has legs’
From the player’s point of view, it could be deemed as only a slight step down, and Arsenal’s record of regular European football – usually in the Champions’ League, will be enticing. It will also afford a few opportunities for the inevitable payback to his former employers. Add to this the fact that Dzeko can point to an enviable scoring record in Premier League football, despite a very much on-off the bench scenario, the fee for a player with a proven record may be deemed as much less of a gamble by Arsenal.
It’s certainly true that we’re getting into transfer ‘silly season’ now, and many ‘leaked’ stories will quickly disappear down the drain, but if Arsenal are looking for a centre forward with an established scoring record in the Premier League, and City are willing to let him leave, perhaps Dzeko could indeed be Edin to Arsenal.