Former Arsenal goal-scoring hero Ian Wright has claimed that Jermain Defoe could be the man to solve the scoring problems that have afflicted the Gunners in the opening weeks of the Premier League season.
Following the departure of last season's Premier League Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie, Arsenal have started their campaign with successive goalless draws against Sunderland and Stoke. According to Wright, who scored a then-club-record 185 goals for the Gunners, Tottenham striker Defoe is the "penalty box predator to finish off all those half-chances which are currently going begging."
Writing in the Sun, Wright says that an "audacious" move for Defoe may be successful, with the England international potentially open to a move away from White Hart Lane.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signed forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud before the departure of Van Persie and there appears some doubt as to whether he will reenter the market to further bolster his front line.
Even if Wenger were to sign a striker before the transfer window closes on Friday, it would be a major surprise were it to be Defoe. The 29-year-old has been a consistent scorer in the Premier League throughout his career, but has rarely been seen as a player who can flourish in a lone striking role that Arsenal's formation favors.
While it is true that there are few better finishers around, Defoe has often struggled to display an ability to link-up play, something that is required at the very highest level. For much of his time at White Hart Lane, Defoe has found himself struggling to nail down a regular first-team place.
Having just signed Emmanuel Adebayor, and with new Tottneham boss Andre-Villas Boas also rumored to still be pursuing Brazil striker Leandro Damiao, Defoe may again be forced to accept a role as an impact substitute.
As for Arsenal, Wenger believes that Giroud and Podolski, supported by fellow new signing Santi Cazorla, will produce the goods this season.
"[We will improve] by practicing on how we want to move, on the quality of the final pass," Wenger said after the draw with Stoke, according to Arsenal's official website. "Today we had Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla together up front--one month ago they didn't know each other. It is the department where we have the most new players."
While a move for Defoe looks far-fetched, Arsenal could still strengthen their squad in the coming days. Having lost Alex Song, a midfielder could well be on wanted list for Wenger. Wright also believes that it is an area that the Gunners need to strengthen.
"They could do with another central midfielder after selling Alex Song to Barcelona and I could see Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye fitting in very nicely," explained Wright.
Newcastle midfielder Cabaye has been linked to Arsenal in recent days, although his similarity to current midfielders at the Emirates may mean that Wenger looks elsewhere.
Wenger has hinted that he is looking for a purely defensive midfielder, which could mean he reignites his interest in Rennes' France international Yann M'Vila.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.