Jamie Vardy’s decision to dismiss Arsenal’s interest in him to remain at Leicester City means Arsene Wenger’s search for a striker continues.
Adding goals to the ranks is seen as imperative if the Gunners are to win the Premier League title next term, with a price of 23/4 saying they land the prize in 2016/17.
One potential solution to this situation is to sign Lyon goal machine Alexandre Lacazette, whose representatives Wenger is due to meet with next week if you believe everything you read in the Daily Mirror.
With 48 Ligue 1 strikes across the previous two seasons, there’s no debating that the Frenchman knows where the net is, but the staunch Gones have valued their most marketable asset at £45m and won’t budge on their demands.
West Ham United can provide testimony to this, having seen bids as high as £42m for Lacazette’s services turned down already this summer.
Based on the players they’ve been credited with an interest in, Arsenal seek a striker whose primary attributes include speed and finishing, with a track record for scoring goals in one of Europe’s elite divisions understandably regarded as important.
If they’re truly entering the Lacazette auction, their limitations are far from low in a fiscal sense, but there’s no reason to fork out the money they’d have to pay for the France international when there’s a Premier League hitman available for considerably less than half the price.
Stoke City are reportedly on the verge of signing West Bromwich Albion marksman Saido Berahino in a £16m deal.
The Burundi-born striker certainly meets the criteria Wenger has established for a new line-leader and, judging by the bargain the Potters have struck, he also enables the notoriously frugal Frenchman to indulge his penchant for parsimony.
His three seasons in the Premier League thus far have seen him score at a rate that equates to approximately one goal every four games which, given his age (22) and the fact he plays for West Brom – a team barely recognised for the chance-conjuring prowess of their midfielders – isn’t all that bad.
Questions relating to his attitude is perhaps what has put more high-profile suitors off rivaling the Potters for Berahino’s services, but in terms of ability, he rates an ideal acquisition for Arsenal and can be bought at a price way below what’s being mooted for other targets. He must be worth the gamble.