Whether Arsenal manage to maintain their stay at the business end of the Premier League or not, next season looks like it’ll be a big one with the club eyeing mega moves for three world class players.
Along with a right-back and centre-half, Arsene Wenger yearns for some support for Olivier Giroud, who’s been carrying the can of the Gunners’ 9/2-rated title bid largely alone this season.
Armed with a reported £80m budget, Wenger has a list of four candidates to lead Arsenal’s line in 2014/15. But which of them should he sign? We give each candidate the shake down, report card style:
Jackson Martinez – D
In his second season playing for Porto the Colombian has scored 13 times in 17 appearances, impressively following up on his 26-strike debut tally.
However, Martinez doesn’t play with his back to goal and rarely gets teammates involved – he has just three assists in his Ligre Sagres career – so his style won’t suit the Arsenal philosophy.
Edin Dzeko – C
Dzeko certainly does fit the Arsenal mould, and has a respected Premier League record at Manchester City whether it be starting or entering as a sub.
City haven’t made a habit of selling their leading players to Premier League rivals, though. Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Robinho are all examples of that.
Diego Costa – B
Atletico Madrid are on top of La Liga for the first time since 1996, largely down to Costa’s 20 goals in 21 starts.
He’s rightly drawing attention from a whole host of suitors, but the only way Atletico will let him leave would be for an astronomical fee, thus wiping out most of Arsenal’s budget.
Mario Mandzukic – A
Despite being Bayern Munich’s leading scorer, Mandzukic doesn’t feel like a fit for the German giants while Pep Guardiola is in charge, such is the Spaniard’s love for a false nine.
With that in mind Arsenal could land themselves a proven scorer – he has only scored less than 10 league goals once in the last eight seasons – at a snip of a price compared to the other targets.
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