Jermain Defoe deal is what Arsenal should chase
A deal for Mustafi may be on the cards, and yes a centre-back is needed, but anyone who says this Arsenal team is not crying out for a centre-forward is a liar. In fact, a goalscorer, never mind Granit Xhaka, should have been Arsenal’s first signing as soon as the season ended.
If an injury (to Mertesacker) is what has got Wenger dusting off his wallet to sign a defender then an injury (to Welbeck) should have seen him get the deal done for a striker long before pre-season began. Perhaps the audacious bid for Jamie Vardy not too long ago was a sign that the club itself has realized that Giroud and Walcott as centre-forward options will not be enough.
But with the need for a new goalscorer now emphasized, who at all is available to be bought? Vardy is gone, Higuain is gone and barring an astronomical transfer bid, Morata isn’t coming and neither is Icardi. That leaves Lacazette as the only remaining option because, in truth, Lukaku is hardly clinical.
And with Lyon’s president continuing to make a nuisance of himself, who is to say Lacazette, a man currently sidelined by injury anyway, will end up joining Arsenal before August 31?
If the Frenchman’s proposed move never happens, we will have to humble ourselves and find anything better than Theo Walcott because, let’s face it, when Sanogo and Akpom are your only out-and-out strikers available for a season opener, you are well and truly desperate. Whoever the alternative to Lacazette is will have to be a quick-fix; a man who may not deliver beyond one or two seasons. And that is where Jermain Defoe makes some sense.
Yes, he is a 33-year-old Sunderland striker but his numbers last season – which were not different from his decent tallies from previous years – proved that he still knows where the back of the net is. Take a look at his goal against Manchester City on Saturday and you will be reminded that he is the sort of striker Walcott has been aspiring to be for ten years now; a pacey, small-sized finisher.
Defoe has always been an above average striker who could get you 20 goals sitting in front of any midfield – never mind the ultra-creative one at Arsenal which puts chance after chance on the plate for even mediocre strikers.
Considering the form Defoe is in, he would have been a much-coveted name if he was a decade younger. But that is the point. He would only be bought as a quick-fix. And even at 33, the man sure runs faster than Giroud.