Tis the season. The part of the year where everyone is demanding. Everyone wants the best, and they want it NOW! It’s quite apt that the transfer window opens just after the Christmas period.
Just like with the sales shopping, what escalates is pandemonium as customers scramble to snatch quality of mediocrity at an over the top price just to prevent rivals from getting there first.
There isn’t so much of a sale on either in the transfer window, but you can get the odd “bargain” deal depending on contract situations. Robert Lewandowski on a free is hardly a panic buy now is it. Although Bayern will have waited for two years to get their man when he does eventually walk through the doors of Munich’s all expenses paid Allianz Arena.
But it’s not hard to see why the winter window becomes the bane of so many managers’ lives. Price inflation is at an all-time high, cup-tied players are commonplace and the clock ticks all too quickly for their liking in between actually getting the club sorted for matters on the field.
Yet, Arsenal find themselves in dear need of a purchase (or two) this month. Particularly in the striker region. A defender and maybe another midfield enforcer and winger wouldn’t go a miss either, but let’s not get too greedy now.
Despite the devastating injury to Theo Walcott, I still think our primary target of a centre forward remains the same.
We have the likes of Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain among other candidates to replace him out wide, and one of them could well have their Alex Manninger moment.
However, what we do need to make up for is the goals and assists that an in-form Walcott would no doubt rack up.
It’s a tough time for Arsene Wenger to pull off that big marquee striker signing, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up about the chance of us welcoming Diego Costa, Jackson Martinez or Wayne Rooney this month. Of course, it’s not impossible, but will certainly be more difficult.
Wenger may well look for a cheap short-term stop-gap forward before looking more towards the future in the summer.
So with that in mind, here are five strikers who we could see brought in to plug the gap until the end of the season.
Gunners Town Top 5: Short-term striker options in the January Transfer Window
1. Miroslav Klose
The Lazio hitman is out of contract come the summer at the Serie A outfit, so would be obtainable for somewhere in the region of £1-2m. Of course his best days are behind him, but the way he plays often means that he rarely moves outside of the box anyway.
You would think that he’d settle in pretty quickly too due to being German, and with his vast experience in the Champions League, European Championships and World Cups along with a series of club honours, he wouldn’t be too bad a signing and add some top experience.
He would only play second fiddle to Giroud as well, and would not be cup tied in the FA Cup campaign. Klose could prove to be a bit of a Fox in the Box, given the service he will receive from Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and co.
Worth a shout? Why not.
2. Dimitar Berbatov
His name has cropped up a fair bit already over the past few weeks, with rumours previously claiming that we were going to make a £2m bid. Like Klose, he is another that has achieved a lot of honours, especially during his time at Manchester United.
He has spent the last eight or so years in the Premier League, so he wouldn’t need any time to adapt, and could be used in the Champions League if needs be.
His age and attitude could be called into question; he isn’t exactly the most eager player in the world when it comes to movement. However, the chance to earn more silverware on three fronts, and with a severe upgrade in teammates and service, Berbatov could well get his mojo back and has that touch of class inside the box that could make him a temporary success at the Emirates.
3. Alvaro Morata
The player himself has declared that he wants to leave Real Madrid in order to get some game time. He seems to behind fellow youngster Jese in the striking pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu, and would surely get more of a chance to sign for the Gunners. He was one of the stars of the U21 European Championships last summer, having won the Golden Boot at the tournament too, and has been tipped for big things in the future.
Despite Carlo Ancelotti insisting that nobody would arrive or depart the white side of the Spanish capital this month (I mean who believes managers nowadays anyway), I’m sure some sort of deal could be struck up. Heck, given Madrid’s reluctance to give him a go combined with what is thought to be a pending search for a new world class striker, Arsenal could maybe even try to conjure up an agreed future fee for a permanent transfer if he is to be a success.
Would an impressionable young Spaniard be able to cope in North London? Well when he would have compatriot Cazorla giggling away with a grin on his face every day at Colney, I’m sure it woudn’t be too difficult.
4. Alex Pato
The Brazilian could prove more than just a short-term option, and was once one of the most sought-after talents in Europe. However, injuries and a poor run of form have seen the 24-year-old become a forgotten man, with the former Milan striker now plying his trade for Corinthians in Brazil. He’s endured a mixed spell there and has (roughly) 17 goals in 57 appearances.
However that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t do a job at the Emirates. It may be a tricky task, but if anyone can reignite Pato’s fire then it would be the loving hand of Wenger. He is a different kind of striker to what we already have at the club, and wouldn’t require us to break the bank. Whether it be an initial loan fee, or a bid of around £10m, Pato is comfortably affordable and, if Wenger can work his magic, could be a priceless acquisition.
5. Thierry Henry
Need me to explain this one? Club legend. Still a hero. Knows Arsenal. Already training at London Colney. He’s done it before, could he do it again?
Let me know what you think. Of course it’s all speculation, and we may not get any of them, but I’d be interested to hear your views and who you want.
Enjoy the game tonight.
Never forget that you’re Gooner.
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.