Arsenal are looking thin in attack for pre-season after first-choice centre-forward Olivier Giroud was allowed a late holiday following his Euro 2016 excursions this summer. The French international has reportedly been given three weeks off according to various sources, and it means Arsenal could have just Chuba Akpom as their only natural striker option going into the new season.
Danny Welbeck was signed from Manchester United to provide competition for Giroud, but a long-term injury suffered means Arsenal will be without the English forward for the majority of the 2016/17 season. The 25-year-old is expected to return from injury in March 2017, which means the London club need at least one new striker in the squad. Manager Arsene Wenger failed to sign Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, but will Arsenal sign another centre-forward?
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with Arsenal for a number of years, and this summer the talented South American has been rumoured to be wanting a move from the Stadio San Paolo. Arsenal are unlikely to splash out a lot of money for a player with no resale value, however, as Higuain turns 29 in December. Nevertheless, he’s a centre-forward enjoying the form of his career who could be the difference in the title next season.
With Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea expected to challenge for the Premier League crown in 2016/17, Arsenal’s task of topping the table is expected to be even harder than last season. While 72 points would have been enough to win the league title in the previous campaign, the two Manchester clubs are being tipped to run away with the league this time round. Arsenal can’t afford to have any deficiencies going into the new season so a new forward is needed.
As things stand, Giroud will return from his holiday far from match fit at a time where Arsenal need to start the season strongly. They do have the likes of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez who have both played up front in the last year, but their skill set is completely different to the hold-up attributes and aerial threat of Giroud. For supporters, it’s not a good sign that the club aren’t being linked with other strikers after missing out on Jamie Vardy, especially with pre-season now underway.
Everton’s want-away striker Romelu Lukaku would provide some much-needed power to the Arsenal frontline, while having scored 18 league goals in 36 starts last season. He’s keen to leave Goodison Park and has been linked with Arsenal, but who will the Gunners bring through the door this summer?