With the winter window slammed shut, all attention has shifted to the Gunners’ team and making sure the threadbare Arsenal squad makes top 4 and major restructuring of the team penciled for the summer. In the winter window, Wenger made unsuccessful attempts to buffer the team especially the striking options but was frustrated in his pursuit of striking targets. His advances for Spanish Striker David Villa were perpetually knocked back by Barcelona who remained adamant that the Spanish record goal scorer was going nowhere. Wenger also tried for Adrian Lopez but his offer for the Athletico Madrid forward fell below the valuation of the capital club according to reports. Other strikers that were considered by Arsenal in January according to the rumour mill were Napoli forward Edison Cavani and Fiorentina Montenegrian forward Stefan Jovetic.
But with the winter window shut, attention has been shifted to the summer when Wenger would be hoping to do a major restructuring of his squad and one of the areas Le Prof would be looking to buffer would be the striking line and the leading targets once again would be David Villa and Stefan Jovetic for obvious reasons.
Wenger has been a long term fan of the Spaniard and maybe considering a renewed bid for El Guaje. In the summer, Villa would have just a year left on his Barca deal and with him unlikely to sign a new deal because Barca is not even keen on keeping him beyond the summer with the Blaugrana yet to open talks over a new deal with him. They have tied the big guns (Xavi, Puyol and Messi) tied to new deals but ignored Villa, hence, Villa is likely going to be available for a cut price switch to a new club.
In the light of Stefan Jovetic who is also an Arsenal target, he has more than 2 years left on his Fiorentina deal and the Serie A outfit might want be a little reluctant to releasing him. While El Guaje would be available for a cut price fee owing to his bit part role at Nou Camp, age and winding down contract, Jovetic would be available for a more expensive fee because he is a key player for Fiorentina, younger and has more years left on his current deal. Reports have it that wenger is ready to sanction a bid of 20-25 million Pounds which would be a record fee to lure Fiorentina to sanction a switch to the Emirates.
It is obvious Wenger is looking for a Van Persie clone. A striker that has the technical qualities, skills and finishing akin to the ones the Dutchman supplied at the Emirates. in Giroud, Arsenal have a physical striker who is a better version of former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, hence we need another type of striker who is adept at using both legs, skillful and highly technical. This is why the search has been narrowed down to Villa and Jovetic at least for now.
Owing to age, Jovetic is more of a long term solution for Arsenal than David Villa. This year David Villa would be 32 meaning he has less than 3 seasons of top football to offer the Gunners. He is at his peak and already declining while Jovetic will be turning 24 years this year. The Montenegro forward still has at least 7 years of top football under his belt and if well settled, he would offer the Gunners more stability. Wenger loves his strikers been around for the long term; Henry was around for 8 years, Van Persie also stayed a Gunner for 8 years. Adebayor and Eduardo spent lesser time at the Emirates (3 years) through no desire of Wenger. The latter was driven by greed while the former had a psychological setback owing to a damaging injury and had to leave to resuscitate his ailing career. Jovetic would offer Arsenal the stability and understanding which only longevity at the club brings. In the case of Villa, he would need time to settle and by the time he gets a good grasp of the league, his time would almost be over since he would be well advanced in years. History has it that Wenger isn’t a fan of old players.
In terms of wages, Jovetic’s wage demands would be more affordable than that of Villa. Villa is on more 100k per week at Barca and reports had it that Wenger was willing to match it if he had moved in the winter window because he was desperate to bring in an experienced forward but I doubt if Wenger would still be willing to do the same in the summer. A deal might fall through if Villa isn’t ready to take a massive pay cut. Paying over 100k pounds per week to a player edging close to 32 years is a huge risk because he is already approaching football menopause. If he suffers dip in form, it would be a big problem trying to offload him, the same problem Wenger is facing with Squillaci. No club is ready to take the French misfit on board because of his outrageous wages and he is so useless to Arsenal, he is just collecting money without working. Freebie!
Whether Arsenal go for Villa or Jovetic, they are certain to face stiff competition from other top clubs for their services. Manchester City are likely to battle the Gunners for their signatures. After the sale of the enigmatic Balotelli, the Citizens moved swiftly to replace him by launching a late bid to take Villa to Etihad but failed in their pursuit but they are certain to return with a bid in the summer. They would see the Spaniard as a decent back-up to their first choice strikers Dzeko and Tevez but I doubt if Villa would want to continue his foray on the bench at Etihad after spending such a long time on the Nou Camp’s bench.
If they fail to get Villa, they could go for Jovetic and certainly pip Arsenal to his services if Fiorentina decides to sell to the highest bidder because they are certain to outbid the Gunners and could even sway Jovetic’s choice if he puts money over regular first team football, Manchester City are good at dolling out outrageous wages. Hence, Arsenal are likely to go head to head with City for their two main transfer targets.
What would either of them be bringing to the table if Wenger pulls off the coup?
In Jovetic, Arsenal would be signing a young, skillful and versatile forward. The Fiorentina forward can play through the center as a striker and can also play on either wings in Wenger’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. These, El Guaje could also do but Jovetic has an edge and it is the aerial presence he provides. The Fiorentina forward is 6 ft 1 inches while David Villa is 5 ft 9. He can also play in the midfield as a central midfielder albeit we might not need him there since we are spoilt for choice in that area already.
Jovetic isn’t the finished article yet, he is still a budding striker and nothing near been prolific but under Wenger he could become. I never give up on any striker that Wenger takes under his wings, if Adebayor could become prolific then anybody can. At Partizan Belgrade, he scored 13 goals in 51 league appearances , a goal ratio of 3.92 while at Fiorentina, he has just 31 goals in 103 Serie A matches, a goal ratio of 3.32, but I see him improving at Arsenal. Adebayor was worse off at Monaco but when he got to Arsenal, his goal scoring lot improved and top teams started chasing him believing he was super prolific.
In Villa, we would be getting a prolific forward. Villa has better goal returns. At Valencia, he scored 108 goals in 166 league appearances meaning a goal ratio of 1.53, at Barcelona, he hasn’t also fared badly. He has netted 28 goals in 62 La Liga matches for the Blaugrana meaning a goal ratio of 2.21. Even in his worst form, El Guaje seems more prolific than Jovetic. But we have seen what Villa can do, what we don’t know is how far Jovetic can go, at 23, he has his best footballing years ahead of him. What do you make of it? feel free to make your choice in the comments box.
Written By Kolade Omotosho (152)Sponsored by Free Bets from BigFreeBet.com
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