Despite a summer full of positivity, it was a familiar story on opening day at the Emirates as Arsenal put their fans through the wringer in the narrowest of wins over manager-less Crystal Palace.
It took an injury-time winner from Aaron Ramsey to best the Eagles, who had been thrown into disarray by Tony Pulis’ departure just days before the start of the campaign.
The Gunners got the three points, but punters will continue to be skeptical of their 5/1 odds to win the title if Yaya Sanogo retains his starting place upfront.
Olivier Giroud will add a little more class to their frontline, but Arsenal are clearly still lacking a cutting edge, and Arsene Wenger is reportedly considering a raid on Napoli to address the issue.
Eduardo Vargas is not the big-name striker many would hope to see at the Emirates, but the Chilean’s link-up play with Alexis Sanchez was a delight at the World Cup, and he might unlock the best from Arsenal’s incredible midfield.
Napoli have put the 24-year-old up for sale after letting him spend the past couple of seasons on loan, the last of which was at Valencia, who are also interested this summer.
It would be a low-key move for Arsenal, but Wenger has shown in the past that he has a happy knack for picking out undervalued players.
There is also an argument for saying that, with Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Ramsey on the books already, Arsenal will have enough goals from midfield that their striker needs to be more a selfless creator than a ruthless finisher.
Vargas is also versatile enough to provide cover for a number of attacking positions, and possesses enough pace to ensure that the Gunners won’t suffer a similar meltdown as last season if Walcott gets injured.
One or two world-class strikers might yet be on the market this summer, with Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao apparently considering moves, but even if their fans are initially disappointed, Vargas could be exactly what Arsenal need.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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