The English club need a talismanic presence to fill the shoes of the Gabon international.
Arsenal, under the able guidance of Mikel Arteta, have turned their season around with their recent performances. While it took some time to re-build the team, the Spaniard has put his faith in a young and talented squad to take the club forward. Hale End products Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been at the center of this Arsenal uprising. With the January transfer window open, the North London club will be looking to add some exciting players to their squad. The administration has proved their mettle in the transfer window; Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White and Thomas Partey are living proof.
There is one position that the Gunners will be looking to strengthen. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at the club hanging by a thread, a forward would be the priority in the January window. While Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette has replaced the Gabonese as the team’s main marksman, his age and declining form have compelled him to take up a deeper role. Here are five strikers who can fill Aubameyang’s boots if he were to leave.
5. Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina)
The 21-year-old Serb has attracted a great deal of interest from Arsenal. Word is out that Arteta and Co are in the strongest position to snap up the Fiorentina forward, if he were to move this month. Other English clubs in rivals Tottenham and Newcastle United are also in the race for the striker, despite no formal agreement having been done between the player and any club.
Vlahovic may just be waiting for a bigger fish to come for him, preferably Juventus. Regardless of these reports, the fact remains that Dusan Vlahovic continues to be Arsenal’s topmost target to fulfill the striker’s role.
4. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is amongst the handful of options Edu, the technical director of the club and his team are looking at. The Everton striker had a breakthrough season in the 2019-20 campaign when he netted 13 times in 36 appearances. The following season, he scored 16 goals in three lesser games.
His height and movement in the box has time and again shown his ability as a serial goalscorer. The 24-year-old can also turn on his after-burners when required. Still to hit his prime, the forward can add much-needed value to Arteta’s young side.
3. Valentin Castellanos (New York City)
A more recent entry on Arsenal’s wishlist is 23-year-old Argentine, Valentin Castellanos. The New York City forward initially attracted the eyes of another London club in West Ham. The Athletic reported recently that the player has been identified as a plausible target by the Gunners.
If Vlahovic or Calvert-Lewin do not end up coming to the Emirates, then the £15m-rated South American would be the next best option. If the club get some more funds, he might even be one of two striker signings. With both Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah reaching the end of their contracts this summer, this move might be needed.
2. Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad)
The young Swede has been pegged as another Arsenal target. One of the main reasons behind the club’s interest is the 22-year-old’s bond that he’d formed with Martin Odegaard at Real Sociedad. In the 2019-20 season, when the Norwegian was a regular for the Spanish outfit, both the players had developed an incredible relationship on the pitch. This helped Isak reach 16 goals in that campaign.
This season has not been his best as the striker has managed to score only seven times in 22 appearances, numbers quite contrary to his hefty release clause of £77m release. Nevertheless, the forward is talented and his services could come to good use at Arsenal.
1. Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
The Nigerian has revealed in the past that he’d almost joined Arsenal back in 2020 before accepting a deal from Napoli. This time, Victor Osimhen joins others in the London-based club’s search for a prolific goalscorer. So far this season, he has scored five times in Serie A and four times in the Europa League, which includes a brace against Leicester City. The 23-year-old was ruled out of the upcoming AFCON championship as he tested positive for COVID-19.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Edu and Arteta make a move in the market now. If not, they might choose to wait till the summer and in the meantime, try to use Gabriel Martinelli, along with Nketiah and Lacazette as their marksmen.