Arsene Wenger looks to bring in new striking talent to the Emirates but who fits the bill best?
Arsenal are in prime position to sign Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidan, according to the player himself.
Zidan has been linked with a handful of clubs over the previous month, but now Arsenal are thought to have made second contact with the player’s agent after his impressive performance against England.
Speaking on Monday, Zidan said: “My agent spoke to me after the game and told me about Arsenal’s interest. He asked me to try to impress them, and become the first Egyptian to play for the Gunners.”
Manchester United and Barcelona have also been heavily linked with the player, with his father telling Dream TV that the clubs made original contact about the Borrusia Dortmund striker after the African Cup of Nations success.
“Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona have talked to Mohamed’s agent,” said Abdullah Zidan.
The 28-year-old striker has plyed his trade in the Bundesliga since signing for Werder Bremen from Danish club Midtjylland back in 2005.
A successful loan stint at Mainz 05 led to a reported €4.5 million move to Hamburg in 2007, and a year later a deal was made that saw Zidan switch to his current club in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Frenchman Wenger has been linked with a string of strikers at the Emirates since the injury sustained to Robin van Persie. Lacina Traore, Marouane Chamakh, Edin Dzeko and Bojan Krkic are just four ‘big name’ strikers in a long list of rumoured targets on the wish list in north London.
It appears that Zidan is now the number one choice for the Gunners though, and signs are starting to point towards a possible summer move when the transfer window opens again. (Give Me Football – Official PFA Website)
It has been apparent for some time that Arsene Wenger wants to add some new striking talents to his Emirates squad. He has admitted on more than one occasion that he needs to strengthen his options in the final third and tried in vain to bring in a player or two in January but now it is reported that the Arsenal boss will make a renewed effort to land a big fish in the summer.
Of the five named in this report I believe the player that should most excite Gunners fans is Edin Dzeko. The Wolfsburg man helped the German side to a surprise Bundesliga triumph last season and even though his side have not performed well this season the Bosnian has managed 20 goals this term. He seems destined to leave the German side this summer and whilst the likes of AC Milan have shown an interest it is believed that the 23 year old would welcome a move to the Premier League and Arsenal appear to be leading the chase.
The relative unknown Lacina Traore would be an expensive risk to take as the Cluj striker is valued at an inflated cost by his Romanian employers. Marouane Chamakh is of course the cheaper option as the Bordeaux man is available for nothing in the summer and is apparently pretty much a Arsenal player already, depending on what paper you read.
Bojan Krkic is of course another player Arsenal have been linked with for some time but do the north London side really need another young starlet? Clearly the Barcelona man has great potential but then the same was said about Giovani Dos Santos before he was sold to Tottenham where his career has stagnated. Also it seems very unlikely Pepe Guardiola will be offloading any of their young talent, quite the opposite, the Catalan side looks to be putting even more emphasis on their youth policies as the club looks to rein in costs.
Mohamed Zidan is a different player to the others listed as he doesn’t play as an out and out striker and at 28 is significantly older than the others named by this source. The Egyptian has spent five years in Germany without really making a huge impact. A great creative talent but one who often fails to deliver, he would be a luxury player to bring in and I can’t see Wenger making a move for the Borussia Dortmund man.
There is no doubt that injury issues have shown the thinning resources Arsenal have to draw from in the striking area but perhaps its worth noting that the injury crisis the club has had is severe and when everyone is fit the club has many top notch strikers to call upon. Robin Van Persie is still the chief tormentor to call upon to frighten the life out of Premier League defences, but he always tends to lose about 10 games a season through injury. Eduardo has had niggling injuries of his own and has rarely been at full fitness since his time out following that horror tackle from Martin Taylor. Nicklas Bendtner is beginning to show what he is capable of and the likes of Carlos Vela and Sanchez Watt show promise for the future. So perhaps all that Wenger needs is an experienced campaigner to call upon in times of need, much like Sir Alex thought when he brought in Michael Owen.