Arsenal have already made a significant move to improve their defensive solidity by securing the prized signature of Petr Cech, but it now appears that Arsène Wenger is focused on bolstering his striking options. With less than three weeks until the start of the Premier League season, speculation is mounting over potential pursuits of a trio of forwards.
Arsenal relied on Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck to lead their attack last season, but both showed at least an occasional lack of ruthlessness in front of goal to suggest that Arsenal may have to look elsewhere for a striker to fire them back to Premier League glory. While Theo Walcott could also play through the middle, the England international has yet to show that he can consistently flourish in the role, and, in the final year of his contract, his future is uncertain.
Speaking last week, Wenger played down the need to strengthen his squad, although he didn’t rule out future arrivals, including Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. The France international’s future is being called into question in the Spanish capital, with Rafa Benitez suggesting that he wants to use Gareth Bale in a more central role.
Spanish outlet El Confidencial reports that Benitez isn’t overly enamored with Benzema’s skill set, which may open the door for a transfer to Arsenal. It is said that Wenger has already established contact with the former Lyon man and that the player isn’t adverse to a move to the Emirates. There are even claims elsewhere that Arsenal have already made a 45 million euros (£31.6 million) bid. Much, though, could depend on whether Real Madrid, who have been linked with the seemingly unattainable Sergio Aguero, manage to get in a top-quality replacement. It should also be noted that Benzema has regularly been linked with a transfer away in recent years, yet, a favorite of president Florentino Perez, he has always stuck it out, at times despite a lack of love from the Bernabeu fans.
A more readily attainable striker would be Edin Dzeko. With Manchester City conducting a significant overhaul of their squad this summer, and having already spent £49 million on Raheem Sterling, the future of the 29-year-old looks in question. Italian side Roma have already been strongly linked, although with the two clubs thought to be some way apart on agreeing a fee.
The Daily star reports that City could attempt to capitalize on that hesitancy and bring the Bosnia international to the Emirates. It is far from the first time Arsenal have been linked with Dzeko, but, while he is on his day a fine striker, it would be difficult to argue that he is a significant upgrade on Giroud.
Completing the trio of forwards said to be on Wenger’s radar is Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Boasting lightning pace, the Gabon international was initially used out wide following his move from Saint-Etienne two years ago, but, after the departure of Robert Lewandowski, he relished being offer a more regular central role last season, finishing with 25 goals in all competitions. Reports in Germany have claimed that Arsenal have already had a £28.7 million bid rejected and that they intend to go back with an improved offer. Yet, looking to build a side to get back to the Champions League and having recently allowed striker Ciro Immobile to join Sevilla on loan, Dortmund are understandably determined not to sell.
“The fact that we rely heavily on Aubameyang is no secret,” sporting director Michael Zorc told German publication Kicker. “I've heard a lot about [a transfer to Arsenal] but I have made it clear that we have no plan to sell him.”