Arsene Wenger seems serious about upgrading Arsenal's attacking options this summer. He is rumored to be targeting transfers for Juventus strikers Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella.
That's according to a report from website Forzaitalianfootball.com. Wenger is said to have contacted Juve about the potential availability of both players this summer.
Arsenal haven't lacked goals this season, but they have been missing consistency in attack. There have been goal rushes, such as scoring five against Tottenham Hotspur, Reading and West Ham United.
The Gunners also hit seven against Newcastle United at the end of December. However, for every free-scoring display there have been games where Arsenal were inept in front of goal.
They failed to score in a 1-0 defeat away to Norwich City back in October. They also drew blanks against Everton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Swansea City and Schalke 04.
Part of the problem has been constant change up front. Seemingly not entirely satisfied with his attacking options, Wenger has auditioned several different combinations.
Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have all been used through the middle. Wenger has also mixed and matched the wide forward positions in his hybrid 4-3-3 formation.
Not one forward or striker has demonstrated the consistency to be a true match-winner. Walcott seemed the most prolific, but he hasn't found the net since the start of February.
Gervinho has been his usual hit and miss self. Podolski has struggled to stay in the team on a regular basis and Giroud doesn't act like a composed finisher.
Wenger needs greater movement and more authority in front of goal from his strikers. He might find it in Matri and Quagliarella.
Matri was linked with a January switch to the Gunners that never materialized. Like Giroud, he offers some height, but is quicker across the ground than the lumbering Frenchman.
Despite struggling in Turin this season, Matri also seems more assured when he gets a chance than Giroud. However, it won't be easy to overlook the fact that the 28-year-old has netted just nine goals this term.
Quagliarella is a more enticing option. He's less a true striker and more a hybrid wide forward/attacking midfield-type.
That versatility should appeal to Wenger, who likes his players be fluid on the pitch. Quagliarella is certainly that.
He gets many of his goals through subtle and sudden off-the-ball movement. His runs into the box from wide areas are clever and superbly timed.
A great example came in the group stages of this season's UEFA Champions League. Quagliarella scored in Juve's 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
He made a quick dart off the right flank and across the Chelsea back line. He then glided in between the two central defenders.
Quagliarella received a through pass on the inside left of the box. From there he calmly slotted the ball between Petr Cech's legs and into the net.
It's that type of inspired off-the-ball running that Arsenal's current strike force is missing. Giroud takes up some good positions, but doesn't have the pace to stretch a defence.
Walcott isn't short of pace, but doesn't work hard enough to use it. Podolski is more effective dropping a little deeper and operating on the edge of the box.
Quagliarella is a quick and sly forward who suits Arsenal's style well. He can operate on either flank, or just behind a natural target man. The 30-year-old is also an expert finisher, with a real instinct for goals.
Wenger can feel confident about landing one of Matri or Quagliarella. Juventus already boast Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco in attack.
Signing one of these skilled Italy internationals for a reasonable fee, would represent very smart business for Wenger and Arsenal.793456