Arsenal’s continued hunt for a new striker this January appears to have run aground after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar signed a new contract with Schalke and Fernando Llorente insisted he is happy to stay in Spain.
With Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh out on loan, there are only three recognised strikers at the club – none of which have made the centre-forward position their own this season. Theo Walcott has proven he can do it alone against the Premier League’s weaker teams but Sunday’s quiet display against Manchester City surprised few online football betting pundits.
Granted, a red card just nine minutes in did not help matters, but when Arsenal did have the ball in a promising position – especially on the wing when Bacary Sagna moved forward – there was no aerial presence in the box as Vincent Kompany towered over the tiny Walcott.
Even when Olivier Giroud entered the field, Arsenal could not get a real effort on target, exposing the confidence crisis in Wenger’s attacking unit when they are under pressure to perform.
What Wenger needs this January is a striker in form and self-assured in his own ability. Maybe someone like Gary Hooper, Celtic’s 18-goal striker who has not only terrorised SPL back fours but scored crucial Champions League goals for the Scottish title holders this season.
Hooper was instrumental in Celtic’s qualification for the Champions League knock-out stage, a development that surprised experts offering football tips, and inspired both Norwich and Southampton to reportedly line up £5m offers. Wenger must realise that this opportunity, at such a cheap price, could make the difference for his side this season.
At just £5m, Hooper would fit in well at Arsenal and make the centre-forward position his own. He is strong, holds the ball up well and has an eye for goal. He has already stated he would not mind playing in the Premier League to boost his England potential – an ambition Wenger already hopes to achieve in a number of his young players.
*This is a guest blog post written by a fellow Gooner who is passionate about Arsenal Football Club. If you would like to send us an article for consideration, then please send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.