Who can Arsenal fans rely on for goals?
Since joining Arsenal in 2014 Alexis Sanchez has been the club’s main outlet for goals. Week in week out, you could count on the Chilean to deliver the goods. However, Alexis has decided that his future is away from the Emirates Stadium and will complete a move to old foes, Manchester United, in the next day or so.
Arsenal supporters are clearly disappointed to be losing a key player, especially one who is so reliable. Knowing you had a player who would score more often than not has been comforting to the fans of an underachieving team who would at least have as good as a sure bet each each to win them a few quid for post-match pints. The popularity of sport betting apps and casino app such as William Hill mobile casino among football fans has rocketed in recent years and one reason for that is the various odds and in play options. Alexis was the sort of player who betting on was almost like money in the bank.
So who can the fans depend on now? This may seem like an odd angle but it’s a good insight into the problem Arsenal faces. Despite his huge transfer fee Alexandre Lacazette doesn’t look as reliable as Alexis when it comes to goals although that may change with the additional chances that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will bring to North London.
The consistency Alexis demonstrated is rare. Lacazette was consistent in France but he’s still adapting to a new league and a new team. Aaron Ramsey had a one season purple patch, although he still remains a goal threat. Welbeck has struggled for regular game time and Giroud, albeit a consistent scorer, doesn’t quite measure up to the numbers Alexis delivered season in season out.
Perhaps the answer lies with a new player. Ivan Gazidis is reportedly in Germany trying to hammer out a deal with Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international is a deadly striker but is said to have some attitude issues – could he cope with Wenger’s desire to keep everyone happy which will likely see him rotate his £150m worth of strikers? At Dortmund he is clearly top dog whereas at Arsenal he may be expected to play out of position or share starting honours with Lacazette and to a lesser degree Giroud and Welbeck.
Wenger said that Aubameyang’s disciplinary issues could be a positive for Arsenal and he certainly has experience of getting the best out of big personalities and players with supposed attitude problems – Vieira and Van Persie spring to mind. One thing that may give Aubameyang the edge over his rivals for a first team place at Arsenal should he join is the pre-existing understanding between him and Mkhitaryan.
It’s hard to predict who will replace Alexis Sanchez’s goals and who will boost your weekend accas and in plays but like all Arsenal teams of the past they will be replaced. When Henry left and then Van Persie, both players who Arsenal had grown to singularly rely on for goals, the team stepped up by sharing the goals among them. If Arsenal manage to do that this time they’ll be a force as the quality of player will be significantly higher than when adapting to the loss of Henry and Van Persie.
A team with the creative talents of Özil, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Wilshere, Iwobi and Xhaka all feeding in to Aubameyang and Lacazette, two of the best strikers in Europe, will be hard to stop. All that the Gunners need to do is finish the season strongly and strengthen in defensive midfield and centre back in the summer and they’ll have a team to compete at the very top.
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