Arsenal’s number one target this summer needs to be a new striker.
Arsenal’s number one target this summer needs to be Daniel Sturridge.
In the Premier League, Arsenal have created more chances than any other side this season. In Mesut Ozil, we have the man who has created more chances for other players than anyone else in the league. Yet when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, we are 4th. The same place where we are in the league.
In fact, we are joint 4th with Liverpool. And have only scored 1 more goal than West Ham, and 5 more than both Everton and Chelsea. An inability to convert chances into goals is the key reason Arsenal are not topping the league. We have needed a new striker since 2012, when Robin van Persie decided Arsenal were not moving in the right direction for him.
The top 3 teams in the Premier League have the top 3 goal scorers. Olivier Giroud is 8th.
This summer we need to make amends for not having a top striker for near on half a decade. We need to go out and make the right signing. That right signing is Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge is a natural goal scorer. Since joining Liverpool, he has scored 51 goals in just 88.
He is the complete forward. He is quick, powerful, has a trick and can finish.
He can play with his back to goal, as a hold up man, and also run in behind, he can play across the front 3 and is mobile. He would be the perfect centre forward.
When I look at how the team would line up with Daniel Sturridge leading the line, I get a little excited.
Ozil behind a front 3 of Welbeck Sturridge Sanchez.
It is mobile, aggressive and quick.
In Daniel Sturridge, you would have a striker who would drift left and right. When he drifts, you then have Danny Welbeck who can slot inside and become the central forward.
It has worked recently for England. Welbeck has got a lot of goals recently for his country playing out wide and coming inside. It is a role which seems to suit him best. He is not the greatest goal scorer. He will not create a lot of goals. But with his pace and ability to come off the touchline at the far post he will become dangerous.
I picture the Liverpool side that nearly won the Premier League a couple of years ago.
Sturridge Suarez Sterling
What made the forward line so dangerous wasn’t just that Suarez was a world class striker, but the interchangeability between them. Suarez would pop up on the right, with Sturridge in the middle. Sterling down the middle with Suarez on the right. It made them impossible to mark, impossible to keep tabs on. At one point you would have both Suarez and Sterling on the left, doubling up on the full back, with Sturridge coming into the middle for an easy tap in.
Welbeck Sturridge Sanchez would create a similar scenario. And with Ozil pulling the strings, we would have one of the most dangerous front 4’s in Europe.
He is also English. which is a big factor.
Some people previously have questioned his attitude. Claims that he is disruptive in the dressing room. I feel this is a fallacy. And with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there are players he knows already in the squad. Players whom he has travelled the world with. Players whom we have previously seen him larking around with on international duty.
The fact he is English, means that he is a proven Premier League player. A proven goal scorer. There are no worries that he might not settle in the country. Might not do it i the league. He does not need to learn a new language. Although he does need a new hair cut.
The big negative of course is his injuries.
At the time of writing, he has played just 24 league games in the last 2 seasons. He has only played 30 league games once in his career. The same season he achieved that – 2011/12 – was also the year he played his most career games, 43. He has only played over 30 games in an entire season one other time.
He obviously has injury issues, and there are times where we will have to carry him. But that is where keeping Giroud and Welbeck come in. No matter what some might say, they are good players. Giroud has scored 78 goals in his 176 games for the club.
If we can get, and keep, Sturridge fit for say, 30 games, he will get you 20 goals in the time. Giroud and Welbeck will then do a sufficient enough job in the games he misses. It would be about managing Sturridge well, keeping him fit for the bigger games, the important games.
Question is, would you be happy signing Sturridge, investing a big chunk of wages and a big transfer fee, for a player who will only be fit for half the season.
Personally, I would say yes, as his performances in that half a season are what could win us the league.