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Wenger’s Wish-List: Lewandowski, Costa, Llorente, Lavezzi & El Shaarawy
It seems Arsene Wenger has some ambitious plans for the January transfer window with a top quality striker his number on priority.
According to reports today, the boss has drawn up a five-man striker short list that includes Robert Lewandowski, Diego Costa, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Stephan El Shaarawy and Fernando Llorente. That’s quite the wish-list and if we could pull off any of those deals, I’d be a happy Gooner that’s for sure.
A new front man is essential in January to help our title charge during the second half of the season and Goal claim Wenger has set his sights on buying one of the above five – with the exception of Llorente who he wants on loan – and is prepared to spend in the region of £30m to land the right man.
The stand-out name of the quintet is Lewandowski, but he’s arguably the least likely to be signed. The Polish hitman has just 6 months left to run on his current deal at Borussia Dortmund and pretty much every big club in the world has been linked with him. But while I’d love to see him come to north London, Bayern Munich seems like his most likely destination, plus Dortmund are unlikely to sell mid-season now they have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.
Costa is the latest name to be linked and is an exciting prospect. He has been in sensational form for Atletico Madrid this season, scoring 22 goals in 21 games, and reports this week claim Wenger has sent his scouts to watch the Brazilian in action.
The 25-year-old has a buy-out clause worth £30m which was inserted into the contract he signed in the summer, but with Atletico going so well this season I seriously doubt the player would be keen on switching clubs in January – particularly with the World Cup on the horizon.
He might be one to look at in the summer, and he could turn out to be a bargain at £30m, but I really doubt he’ll be on the move next month.
Lavezzi is probably the most attainable of the five strikers. He’s struggling to force his way in to the PSG first team on a regular basis due to Cavani and Ibrahimovic also being on the books, and at 28 he’s now at an age where he wants to be playing week-in, week-out, so could be easily lured to the Emirates.
He isn’t your typical striker, as he’s more of a forward who can play out wide or in the ‘hole’, so I personally think we have enough of those type players in the squad.
El Shaarawy is another interesting one as he too is struggling to get regular action at AC Milan and we’ve been linked with him in the past. The Italian enjoyed an excellent season last year but has failed to kick on this campaign so he might be tempted by a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
The final option is Llorente. He is the most similar to Giroud in terms of playing style, so if we’re going for a like-for-like replacement, then the Spaniard is the man to go for.
However, after a difficult start to life in Italy, the former Athletic Bilbao forward has recently settled and is beginning to find his form – with six goals in 14 games – and is forming a decent partnership with Carlos Tevez up front, so it’s unlikely Juventus would be interested in parting company with him now.
In a dream world, we’d be able to bring in Lewandowski or Costa, but realistically I can’t see us signing either of them unfortunately. The only two I think we have a hope of getting in January is either Lavezzi or El Shaarawy.
Which striker would you like us to sign?