Arsenal fans were left frustrated after the January transfer window when the club didn’t buy a striker. Moreover, the club’s leading striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang too left for a free transfer to Barcelona in the same window. Arsenal were hotly pursuing Fiorentina sensation Dusan Vlahovich, but the Serbian instead joined Juventus. Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak was tipped to make a deadline move, but it endured a rumor only. Arsenal now have Chelsea loanee Armando Broja on their radar after his impressive campaign with Southampton.
Aubameyang’s departure in January meant Lacazette had to step up. However, the Frenchman has failed to put the ball in the net since Aubameyang left. Eddie Nketiah has also not lived up to his expectations and failed to score. The scenario could worsen for the Gunners since both Lacazette and Nketiah are ready to leave in the summer after their contracts expire. Folarin Balogun would be the only striker at Arteta’s disposal. But the Gunners are ready to hand in their manager a boost with money to spend in the summer over a quality striker.
Chelsea slap hefty price-tag on Arsenal target
20-year-old Armando Broja who is on-loan at Southampton from Chelsea has caught Arsenal’s attention. Arsenal are reportedly relishing the Albanian’s progress at Saint Mary’s and could open the talks with Chelsea in the summer. Broja has scored a decent 9 goals in 28 appearances for Southampton so far in all competitions. Out of those 9 strikes, 6 have come in the Premier League, which make double the tally of Lacazette’s (3). Overall too Broja outclasses Lacazette with his 9 goals to the Frenchman’s 5. Broja is quite clearly in a better form than Arsenal’s strikers at the moment.
However, Chelsea are once again planning a masterstroke. Tuttomercato reports that the Blues have already set the numbers if Broja is to leave in the summer. And the speculated fee would be around £57.8 million per Tuttomercato. While Arsenal are desperate to buy a striker, £57.8 million is a lot to ask. Broja’s qualities are not to be doubted here, but Arsenal’s history is to be.
The Gunners would certainly want to avoid another Nicolas Pepe situation here. A cheque of £57.8 million looks a gamble far riskier for Armando Broja. After Pepe’s breakthrough season with Lille where he scored 23 goals and further assisted 12, Arsenal splashed a whopping £72 million to acquire his services. But since then, Pepe has failed to justify his price tag. Arsenal should avoid repeating such a mistake and move an arm’s length if Chelsea demand £57.8 million for Broja.
Another Lille gamble a better option for the Gunners
While Broja looks set to be labeled with a £57.8 million price tag by Chelsea, Lille’s Jonathan David could prove to be more convenient for Arsenal. First and foremost the price tag. Apparently, Lille wants £45.4 million for Jonathan David. That is a lot more of a discount on Broja’s price. The Canadian striker has so far scored 17 goals in his 32 appearances for Lille. Moreover, Jonathan David’s consistency is admirable over the last two seasons. Though Broja plays in a more physically demanding league, Jonathan’s stats are not be discredited.
The 22-year-old netted 13 goals in 37 league games last season (a tally which he has already matched this season in 27 games) to help Lille clinch the Ligue 1 title. His ability to play as a second striker would also help Arteta where he has scored 11 goals in 32 games for the French side. All in all, one would definitely want to place a bet on £45.4 million Jonathan David than £57.8 million Broja given the stats and consistency,
Arteta has listed the qualities Arsenal are looking for in the striker, which indicate that Chelsea loanee Broja is yet not there. “He puts the ball in the net, that’s priority number one,” said the Arsenal manager while explaining the type of future striker Arsenal want. “Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing. You can play good football, but you need enough goal threat in the team,” added the Spaniard.
As Arsenal set look to bring in a quality striker, they must avoid any blunders like the Pepe deal. The Gunners are well-positioned to finish in the top four this season and would look to take advantage of the same to sign a star striker.
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