Mikel Arteta highlights desired attributes for new striker at Arsenal
Arteta sets the benchmark for new Arsenal striker
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has set the parameters regarding how he intends for the club to replace both Alexandre Lacazette and eventually Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the long term.
The Gunners are set to lose the former French international in the summer in an expected free transfer, while Aubameyang is likely to run his deal down and maneuver for a similar exit strategy unless a bigger club potentially comes calling.
Despite the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Folarin Balogun, Nikolaj Möller, and Mika Biereth all in the Arsenal player pool, the club are on the hunt for a ready-made center forward that can hopefully hit the ground running as soon as he enters the door.
The aftermath of the summer spending spree at the Emirates is proof-positive that the club can spend wisely on talent that can make an immediate impact not just in the squad, but in the match day XI.
Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Sambi Lokonga were all purchased from “lesser clubs” but have made the grade in a big way under Arteta thus far, while Martin Ødegaard’s previous loan spell essentially guaranteed he would have no bedding-in period upon his return.
Though Nuno Tavares has not received considerable minutes in the league, he has looked promising in his substitute appearances while performing well in his Carabao Cup outings.
And it is this very profile that Arsenal hierarchical dup Arteta and Edu are ideally looking for in any center forward they intend to purchase next summer, according to The Sun’s Mark Irwin.
Mikel Arteta has already alerted technical director Edu to the need to begin the search for another target man & he is looking for a young goalscorer with Premier League experience to fit in with his policy of building a squad around youth. [Mark Irwin, The Sun] #afc pic.twitter.com/5Iwqw7WE11
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) October 6, 2021
The necessary criteria for the next main striker at Arsenal is simple; the player must be Premier League experienced, and must be young. Presumably, the age profile the club continue to target is a player no older than 24-years-old, which falls in line with how the club spent in the summer.
Current Premier League strikers that fit the bill
In truth, there are not a ton of options when it comes to young strikers that are Premier League proven. On the back of that it becomes relatively obvious just who Arteta would prefer the club to splash further cash on in the next summer window.
At current, there are just five players that fit the current transfer remit; Everton duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin & Richarlison, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, Brentford’s Ivan Toney (at a stretch given his age), and Southampton’s Adam Armstrong.
Richarlison would surely be ruled out given previous links to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, and Armstrong would have a long way to go to prove that he would be the man worthy enough to lead the line for Arsenal. That leaves just DCL, Watkins, and Toney as the three most viable options for Arsenal moving forward.
Here is how they stack up; who do you think would be the better fit? (note: data pulled from last season and is on a per-90 matrix)