Arsenal have linked with some of the planet’s finest forwards since the end of the season with Wayne Rooney, Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic and David Villa all tipped for a move to the Emirates. But who would be the best signing?
Rooney is a shock target considering he plays for rivals Manchester United and that the team won the Premier League last season. Robin Van Persie’s move in the opposite direction last summer shows that transfers between the two clubs can happen, even with star players. The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson is a big reason behind Rooney’s decision to quit Old Trafford.
Incoming manager David Moyes managed Rooney in his two seasons at Everton before his big money move to United and the pair did not get on. Despite having a better relationship now, the forward is not interested in working under his former and boss and now wants out. It first appeared that only the financial powerhouses of Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, Anzhi Makhachkala and Real Madrid could afford the experienced striker but Arsenal state they have the finances to afford such a move and are considered favourites for his signature.
The player himself welcomed a move to Arsenal and a striker of his caliber is something the Gunners are crying out for. They create numerous chances every game and need a player who can finish off a good chance. Olivier Giroud is good but he isn’t in the same class as Rooney, however they both offer something and any signing wouldn’t mean the end of Giroud. Rooney has netted 214 goals in 477 appearances. 17 of those goals came in Everton colours but he is three shy of 200 goals for United, a tally he may never reach. His transfer fee could be in the region of £25-40 million, a fee chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists Arsenal can afford, as well as his mega £250,000-a-week wages. Arsenal has a strict wage budget that looks set to be broken with the club’s top earners currently getting £90,000-a-week.
Real Madrid striker Higuain is another world-class striker. He has been at one of the best clubs in the world for the past seven years and notched over 100 goals. He is set to leave the Bernabeu after falling out of favour to Karim Benzema. Madrid president Florentino Perez and the player himself have declared he will leave and it seems to be a two-horse race between Arsenal and Juventus to sign him. The Serie A champions can offer success with the past two league titles being won by the Old Lady but they currently have a lot of strikers at the club as well as Fernando Llorente who will join in the summer. Giroud is the only recognized forward at Arsenal meaning more game time for the Argentine. Marouane Chamakh, Niklas Bendtner and Park Chu-Young are all set to leave Arsenal and Lukas Podolski is played more as a winger.
Higuain is also a cheaper option that Rooney, valued at around £20 million. His goal rate suggests that price could be a bargain and the player has also suggested a move to Arsenal would suit him. Higuain would be a bag name signing needed to be made by Wenger and would provide Arsenal will a truly reliable striker.
Steven Jovetic is the new wonderkid on the scene. He has had an impressive campaign with Fiorentina and also been instrumental in Montenegro’s recent World Cup qualifiers, helping his nation to top their group. He is rated at a steep £25 million by his club and does not offer a lot of goals. He has never scored 20 goals in one season, something both Rooney and Higuain have managed on more than once occasion. He is played more as a deep lying forward paired with a more goal-scoring player. In todays current market £25 million is considered cheap but Wenger will not throw money away and he will want goals for his money, something Jovetic will not guarantee. Juventus and Chelsea are also on his radar. He would be a good addition to the midfield but not as a striker. He is only 23 and could improve but isn’t as established as they other two and Arsenal need established players.
The final target is Barcelona’s David Villa. He is the oldest and cheapest option out of the lot but perhaps carries the most interest. Arsenal were interested in the player in January but the Catalans refused to sell however they are more willing to negotiate this summer. He is 31 and still has a few years left at the top. He would cost no more than £12 million but is more of a short-term option. He boasts an incredible 282 goals including 128 over a five-year spell at Valencia. Tottenham and Liverpool are also interested but the fact Arsenal is in the Champions League should make the Gunners favourite. I think he should be signed alongside one of the other three, preferable not Jovetic.
I can’t make my mind up on Rooney and Higuain. They are top scorers, high profile names and have played are the highest level for years. Rooney’s experience in the Premier League may swing in his favour but Higuain is a cheaper option and just as good.
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