Arsenal dropped yet more points in their quest for Champions League qualification as they drew 3-3 with Fulham in a game where their defensive frailties were brought to the forefront once more.
The Gunners have fallen four points off the race-for-fourth-place pace following this result and have drifted to 8/11 for a top-four finish.
The solution to their problems is obvious and typifies Arsene Wenger’s football philosophy – buy a centre forward.
Man City’s Edin Dzeko is his number one target after the Arsenal hierarchy reportedly green-lit a January splurge in order to salvage their bid for a seat at Europe’s top table for a 16th successive season.
The Bosnian international is said to be unhappy with his lack of game time at City, despite the fact he keeps banging in the goals when coming off the bench.
Surely Roberto Mancini would be unwilling to sell his ‘super-sub’, who netted his third match-winning goal in City’s 2-1 win over Spurs. But with his own top target, Daniele De Rossi, thought to be valued at £30m by Roma, he may need to raise the funds for the purchase in order to comply with UEFA’s impending financial fair play restrictions that are soon to come into force.
The obvious stumbling block preventing this move is that Wenger, who treats Arsenal’s transfer coffers as if they come out of his own wages, is highly unlikely to stump up the sort of money required to lure Dzeko to north London, both in terms of transfer fee and wages.
With Arsenal’s key issues lying, as ever, in their defensive shortcomings, perhaps Wenger should be looking at buying a keeper, left back, centre back and holding midfielder, as opposed to a striker.
They struggled for goals earlier in the campaign, but it looks as though Olivier Giroud has finally found his feet in English football, having netted four goals in as many games.
With Dzeko used as a squad player at City, he wouldn’t leave a team competing for trophies for one struggling to make the top-four and play the same role.
His signing would, therefore, see Giroud demoted to the doldrums of forgotten men such as Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu Young. This would be uncharacteristically rash of Wenger given that he was only signed four months ago and Arsenal have far greater chinks in their armour that need amending.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date