Arsenal are reported to have bid for veteran FC Barcelona striker David Villa. According to blog Arseblog News, citing Spanish publication Sport, Arsenal lead a trio of English Premier League clubs interested in Villa.
Apparently, Arsenal are said to have made an initial bid to the Catalan giants. Villa would be a marquee, but controversial signing for the Gunners.
His career has been littered with the game's top honors. Villa has won a World Cup and European Championship, as a key member of the Spanish national team.
At club level, he has claimed the La Liga title and UEFA Champions League with Barca. Since emerging at Valencia, Villa has been one of the most productive strikers of the modern era.
A quick and intelligent forward, Villa is a natural finisher. That last quality is something Arsenal's current strikers lack.
Lukas Podolski is a competent finisher, but not a prolific one. Theo Walcott has matured into a composed finisher, but has only one season with over 20 goals.
Main central striker Olivier Giroud lacks composure. The towering Frenchman takes up good positions and uses his strength well in the box.
However, the ex-Montpellier star lacks calmness and guile in front of goal. He also does not offer pace and varied movement.
Villa certainly offers superior instincts and movement off the ball. At first glance, the prolific international offers everything Arsenal need in attack.
Still, there are legitimate concerns about his fitness and longevity. Villa suffered a serious leg injury that kept him sidelined for over a year.
There are doubts that he is still the same player post-recovery. The loss of initial quickness can be devastating for a striker.
Without the acceleration to dart past markers over the first three yards, strikers often fail to latch onto through passes. Timing is everything for a goal scorer.
Villa has experienced mixed fortunes since he made it back into the Barca first team. He has longed to play through the middle, but has been confined to the left flank.
At 31, it remains to be seen how much of a force Villa can still be at the top level. Starting a central striker of that age would be a major shift from Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
However, Villa is unlikely to want to warm the bench in North London, particularly in a World Cup year. Wenger was keen on the Spaniard in January, according to Goal.com.
That previous interest could be fueling this rumor. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be keen.
However, Arsenal's participation in the Champions League would surely give them the edge. So would the presence of fellow Spaniards Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Mikel Arteta.
Wenger will have to determine if Villa's past exploits and reputation justify paying the asking price. The Daily Mirror indicates Villa is valued at £12 million.
That is a prohibitive price for a 31-year-old. However, there are not many players with Villa's pedigree and class available at that price on the market.
This could be an ideal opportunity for Arsenal to snap up a world class finisher on the cheap.787443