Arsenal are in the hunt for a new striker and some names readily come to mind; Suarez, Rooney and Benzema. While the former duo are worth the hype, the latter is not an upgrade to what we currently have in Giroud as far as I am concerned.
Arsenal failed with bids for both Rooney and Suarez in the summer and with Wenger having a pot of gold to spend from, Arsenal have been linked with another attempted raid on Anfield and Old Trafford.
Recent statement by Rodgers suggests that should the Anfield club receive a bid in the region of 50-60million Pounds, they could contemplate selling the Uruguayan while Rooney’s superb form for Manchester United in recent games might just strengthen their resolve to keep him till the summer at the least when another round of exit rumours start again.
While either of them would be a coup signing for Arsenal, it would be unwise of us to put all our eggs in two baskets. We should spread out dragnet to cover more targets. One of such targets is AC Milan’s striker Stephen El Shaarawy. The Italian was one of Milan’s best players last season but he seems to have fallen out of favour, no thanks to Balotelli’s impeccable form.
There were even insinuations in the summer that Milan were open to cashing in on him in order to bring in other signings. This season, he has only started just 1 Serie A match for the Italian giants and that’s in sharp contrast to last season when he had 34 starts in the league. He must be thinking he has fallen down the pecking order. A bid from a top club with Champions League football will surely be considered.
El Shaarawy fits the mould of the kind of striker we are looking for. One that is versatile and can play through the middle or on the wings. He is fast, skillful and a decent finisher. At just 20, he has the footballing world at his feet. He can go on to be better than Suarez and even become the new Henry since Wenger has ample time to mould him into what he wants.
Shaarawy will offer us what Suarez will give us but at a cheaper cost both in terms of transfer fee and wages.
Let us compare the stats of the trio (Giroud, Shaarawy and Suarez)
Shot accuracy Chance created Pass accuracy Average length pass duels won
Giroud 49% 34 64% 13 metres 54%
El Shaarawy 66% 56 84% 15 metres 44%
Suarez 54% 89 76% 16 metres 45%
From the above stats, Giroud is the least accurate with shots on target. As a striker, the accuracy of your shot is vital. El Shaarawy’s shots are the most accurate. In terms of chances created, Suarez is the best. He created 89 chances. For pass accuracy, El Shaarawy, is the best and that will come in handy for him at a club like Arsenal where they play quick passing football. My fear is that he might just start overdoing it. For the pass length, Suarez boasts the longest pass length with 16 metres but even at that Shaaraway isn’t far behind. Giroud wins the battle of strength. He boasts of 54%. That’s not a surprise since he is the tallest, towering at 6’4 as against Suarez who is 5’11 and El Shaarawy 5’10. Owing to his imposing physique, he is suited for that lone striker role, in the light of this, neither Suarez or El Shaarawy can really compete with him.
The stats above show that Suarez is slightly better than El Shaarawy but that’s nothing to fret about. The Uruguayan is 26 while Shaarawy is just 20. If all goes well, by the time he is 26, he would be stunning. Now that we know El Shaarawy isn’t far from Suarez and would cost just half the price of the Uruguayan and might not give a bit of his trouble too, it makes sense to go for him. Wenger might just be unearthing the real new Thierry Henry. Remember, he got the Frenchman at just 21.
At Arsenal, he would even boasts of better stats since he would have creativity at every angle he turns. When you are playing with Cazorla, Ozil, Wilshere, Rosicky and Walcott, chances would be rare. That is in sharp contrast with playing with Kevin Prince Boateng and Ricardo Montolivo.