Arsenal’s first season in the post-Arsene Wenger era could yet conclude in an exciting finish, but thoughts are already turning to next season and how manager Unai Emery might add to his options.
Only Manchester City and Liverpool have scored more often in this season’s Premier League. However, early speculation suggests that attacking reinforcements are heading the recruitment list.
Many observers would point to the defence letting the Gunners down far too often in recent times, so making it increasingly unlikely that they will win any silverware this season.
Other onlookers may have used a couple of welcome bonuses for new customers via different bookmakers to stake on Arsenal winning the UEFA Europa League this season but, with the collapse in the first leg at Rennes in their Round of 16 tie, an unreliable rearguard might tempt Emery to conclude that attack will be the best form of defence.
Having already invested in the region of £100million in their current leading two strikers, should they duly follow the forwards path, they will hope to repeat the impact displayed by Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Abumeyang.
Lacazette recently became the first Arsenal player to score in five consecutive home games in the Premier League since Robin van Persie in March 2012 while, at the end of January, Abumeyang celebrated his first anniversary at the North London club with his 25th goal in the Premier League after only 37 appearances.
Nonetheless, their impressive influence hasn’t dampened speculation regarding further new arrivals to the front ranks.
The latest striker said to be targeted by the Gunners is said to be Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic, who has also been linked with the Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea. The 21-year old is one of the leading strikers in the Bundesliga. After 32 appearances in all competitions this season, Jovic had scored 21 goals and provided seven assists.
His recent form will not have gone unnoticed by the major clubs across Europe and this is where Arsenal are likely to have problems, should they attempt to pursue their report interest. Other clubs linked with him will have greater financial resources available and some, such as Real Madrid, are expected to be ready to spend big.
Luka Jovic is currently on a two-year loan deal with Eintracht Frankfurt but the German club do have the option of turning his current stay into a permanent deal. However, this doesn’t stop Eintracht Frankfurt from being able to make a very quick profit on the Serb.
If the reported interest is anywhere near true, it will remain to be seen if Arsenal are prepared to sell any of their more high profile players. Some believe that Arsenal will not sign Jovic unless either of Lacazette or Aubameyang are sold in the summer.
Of course, bringing in a young relatively inexperienced striker will always carry an element risk so, in comparison, there is the intriguing possibility of a return of a more experience familiar face.
Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United just over a year ago has left the former Gunner as merely a peripheral figure at Old Trafford.
Injury has ruled him out for much of the rest of the season and, amid the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revolution, the Chilean is likely to move on in the summer. It seems like a long-shot but could he re-discover his sparkle at the Emirates?