Arsenal have seen their attempts to add to their strikeforce this summer thwarted, putting their Premier League title chances in jeopardy.The Gunners fell short of ending their 11-year drought for the top-flight crown last season, finishing in second place behind eventual champions Leicester City. Consequently, Arsène Wenger was expected to add more firepower to his squad to match the spending of the club’s rivals in their bid to get back on top.
However, they have been unsuccessful thus far in their bid to lure a top-quality forward to the Emirates Stadium, while Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all strengthened their attacks. As a result, Arsenal are backed at 6/1 in the latest Bet365 betting odds to win the Premier League title, leaving Wenger with work to do to bolster his side before the end of the transfer window.
The Gunners came close to sealing a deal for Jamie Vardy after agreeing a fee with Leicester for the England international, but the 29-year-old rejected the move to the Emirates.Following the failure to complete a deal for the England centre forward, Wenger turned his attention to Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, who starred in Ligue 1 last season with 21 goals.
Thus far, Arsenal have been frustrated by the French club’s unwillingness to part with the striker, rebuffing the Gunners’ bid in the region of £30m for the 25-year-old.
The North London outfit will therefore enter the season with the same striking duo as last year, with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud leading the line. It’s a combination that many teams around Europe would be delighted to possess as the duo notched 29 goals between them in the 2015/16 campaign.
Giroud’s size and power causes havoc in the penalty area along with his cannon of a left foot, while Sanchez has the skill, guile and individual brilliance to carve apart even the most stoic of defences. However, neither player was prolific enough last season to deliver the top-flight crown to the Gunners, with Giroud’s run in the second half of the campaign of 15 matches without a goal, especially costly to his team’s title chances.
Sanchez too had lengthy spells without finding the net, highlighting the need of another forward to alleviate the pressure on the pair, although that issue has not been dealt with yet. As a result, Arsenal will look to the Chilean and the Frenchman to handle the load up front, although Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi could provide support until a new striker arrives at the Emirates.
Wenger has displayed a propensity not to invest heavily should the answer to his solution be available either internally or a cheaper alternative present itself.
Should Arsenal enjoy a strong start to the campaign, Wenger cannot be fooled into thinking that he can get by with the current levels of talent in his squad due to their tendency to see key players sidelined for large portions of the season.
The Frenchman has to add a quality striker to his squad to stop them being left behind by their rivals, who have invested heavily over the summer in their pursuit of the Premier League crown.