Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has highlighted the type of striker required in January ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash against West Ham United.
The Gunners return to competitive action after the World Cup break against the Hammers. They are currently five points ahead at the top of the table and the onus will be on sustaining the form in the restart.
The club have almost every player back in the squad, barring Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus – the latter is out for 10 weeks after a knee surgery. Arteta has already admitted that his absence is a huge blow for the club.
Speaking to reporters, Arteta has now revealed that the club are on the hunt for a new striker but only want a player that they can afford. He added that the signing should make the team better and the club won’t be pursuing a centre-forward just for the sake of filling the void.
He said via football.london: “Can we afford not getting the player that we want? That is my question. We can afford to get a striker for sure if we want one, I don’t know if he plays in League Two, in League Five, in Spain, in Portugal, in Africa. We can get a striker I can guarantee you that. But what we cannot afford to do is get a player here that is not for us.”
“This is what we can not afford, that is for sure. We don’t need a body, we need players that make the team better. I think personalities that have the mentality that we want to win. And we have to focus on that. We have to be very strict with what we have done and the policy we have had to make the team successful.”
Arsenal must find perfect striker in January
Arteta makes sense with his pre-match thoughts. The Gunners don’t want to spend on a striker that does not fit their profile but they must not repeat what happened last winter.
The Gunners had earmarked Dusan Vlahovic as their main striker target back in January this year but the Serbian decided to turn down their interest to join Juventus instead.
Surprisingly, the hierarchy had no back-up target in place and this proved costly in the end. They missed out on Champions League football to Tottenham Hotspur, who spent in the same window.
Arsenal are in a very strong position to finish in the top four this time around but there is now an unexpected prospect of winning the league after their tremendous start to the season.
Hence, the club must spend on a perfect striker at the turn of the year. A repeat of the 2022 winter transfer window could derail their title pursuit in the next few months.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com