Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of shelling out £30m for Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi in a deal that will take their summer spending north of the £60m mark.
It’s an assault on the Gunners’ balance sheets the like of which the club’s accountants have never known but, despite throwing money around like Jose Mourinho in a billionaire’s bank vault, Arsene Wenger still hasn’t found that world-class striker fans are desperate for.
Worryingly for supporters, speculation as to whom the Frenchman might sign has simmered down, and most are now resigned to the fact an elite goalscorer will not be parachuting into the Emirates before the transfer window closes.
Alexis Sanchez has been mooted as an in-house alternative in some quarters, with Sky Sports pundit and Gunners great Thierry Henry highlighting how the Chilean and Olivier Giroud could replicate the partnership the latter flourished in at Euro 2016 with Antoine Griezmann.
If Wenger does attempt to deploy the former Barcelona star in a two-man attack, his already-excellent odds to be Premier League top scorer will further appreciate in value.
Sanchez can currently be backed at 16/1 to outscore his peers this season and has some favourable stats on his side.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed two consistent, if not prolific, Premier League campaigns to date, scoring 16 in 35 appearances in his first season in England’s top flight and following it up with 13 in 30.
Across all competitions, his returns were 25 in 52 and 17 in 41; both a shade shy of one goal every two games.
His previous three seasons have been the most deadly of his career to date, with those two Arsenal totals posted following a 21-goal haul in his final year at Barcelona.
It all suggests Sanchez is arriving at his goalscoring peak and, after registering at around one in two in the previous pair of seasons while playing predominantly out wide, he certainly has the ability to compete for top-scorer honours if unleashed through the middle.
Last year saw Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane become the first Englishman to top the Premier League scoring charts after 38 games since Kevin Phillips in 1999/2000.
Each of the nine foreign forwards who won the Golden Boot before Kane – Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie, Dimitar Barbatov and Carlos Tevez (who shared it in 2010/11), Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Henry – were all brought to England at least two seasons before winning the prize for the first time.
Having completed his two-term warming up period, Sanchez is primed to top score this season.