While most were watching Leicester trounce Liverpool, those who watched Fiorentina versus Torino last night were treated to an equally entertaining affair. And two of the heroes for the Turin side in the 2-2 draw provided the latest evidence that they’re exactly what Arsenal need.
As Joe Hart made a series of fine saves to deny their Florence hosts and keep Torino in the game, Andrea Belotti hauled the visitors back into it with a second-half brace.
The 23-year-old forward could have had a hat-trick too had he not missed a penalty.
But despite that, the clash gave us the latest indication that both of these players could – and should – be on Arsenal’s radar this summer.
The Gunners should certainly be tracking Hart, who will be readily available at the end of the season.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has made it clear from day one that the England international has no place in his Citizens side.
It’s rare that one of Europe’s best goalkeepers appears on the transfer market, and it’s unlikely that City will be too bothered about holding out for a particular fee.
And though Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been praised for his loyalty to players throughout his career, it’s clear that the great Petr Cech is nearing his end as a top-rate goalkeeper.
Granted, the Czech Republic ace was fantastic in his first campaign with the Gunners, but second time around the 34-year-old has found it hard to replicate that form.
So, with Hart ready and willing to join a Premier League outfit, why risk another campaign with Cech as number one? Bring the former Shrewsbury Town stopper in and then Wenger has fantastic competition between the sticks.
Similarly, the arrival of Belotti would really put the cat among the pigeons in Arsenal’s strike-force.
While Lucas Perez has done a solid job when given the chance, he’s not a fox in the box, and is arguably too similar in both physical presence and style of play to Olivier Giroud.
The Spaniard also reportedly wants out this summer, in a bid to boost his chances of making the national side’s squad for the 2018 World Cup.
And that could help ease the financial burden for Torino’s Belotti, who is believed to hold an £85m release clause in his contract.
There’s no hiding that it’s a mega sum to lay down for any player, but the striker is one of the hottest prospects on the continent right now and has fired in a stunning 19 goals in just 22 Serie A appearances. And at 23, his best years are still to come.
Arsenal’s problems won’t be solved by signing any old goalkeeper and striker this summer, but landing Hart and Belotti would go a mighty long way to making them title contenders once again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing