The trail seems to have run cold on Arsene Wenger’s unfathomably-complicated quest to find a top striker for Arsenal.
After the Gunners’ move for Jamie Vardy collapsed, speculation dictated Wenger had moved swiftly on to other targets as he strove to address the north Londoners’ primary problem from the previous season – scoring goals.
Talks were said to have taken place over the transfer of Lyon marksman Alexandre Lacazette before the annual Gonzalo Higuain discussion began, which has so far followed its usual narrative that goes a little something like this:
Arsenal ask how much he costs, get quoted a price they consider too high and then park the issue.
Since Wenger reverted to giving Napoli the silent treatment, he has apparently reshuffled his transfer priorities, replacing the absolutely essential ‘sign a striker’ with the completely unnecessary ‘strengthen the defence’ at the top of the list.
According to reports, Rob Holding of Bolton Wanderers is the subject of a £2m bid, while elsewhere, Matthias Ginter and Jason Denayer of Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City respectively are rumoured to be targets.
With far more pressing issues to attend to, exerting efforts improving this department must be a concern for fans.
Only Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United leaked fewer Premier League goals than the 36 that seeped through the Gunners’ backline last term, and that was by one.
It was the third season from four in which Laurent Koscielny and co conceded less than a goal per game, but they haven’t scored more than 75 in a single campaign since 2009/10.
Eight peers have hit that mark in the seasons that have followed, while only two of the champions crowned across the timeframe in question have failed to score as regularly.
Arsenal were the leading creators of what statisticians define as ‘big chances’ last time around with 101, yet three teams outscored and one equalled their goal tally of 65.