Arsenal’s well-documented summer of woe in the transfer market may have ended in the triumphant capture of £42.5m midfielder Mesut Ozil, but Arsene Wenger’s inability to bring in a proven striker has left them lacking firepower so far this season.
The Emirates club are 12/1 to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in a decade come May and Wenger is closing in on a deal for former Stuttgart and Schalke player Ciprian Marica to address his lack of options in the front-line of attack.
Marica has played primarily as a winger or behind a centre-forward during his career in Germany, but has an impressive goal record when deployed up front for Romania having found the back of the net 22 times in 66 international games.
After missing out on £40m-plus rated strikers Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema over the summer Marica is certainly a cheaper, if less prolific, option who would be brought in as cover for Olivier Giroud and not to replace him.
Giroud has continued the good form he showed at the end of 2012/13 with a goal in each of the Gunners’ three league games so far.
However, their only other league scorer this season, two-goal Lukas Podolski, is out until December with a hamstring complaint and potential alternatives should the former Montpellier forward follow his teammate into the treatment room or lose form are unconvincing.
Yaya Sanogo, who was brought in on a free transfer from Auxerre during the summer, is very much an unknown quantity having made just 26 club appearances in his career.
Wenger has given Sanogo less than 40 minutes of game-time in Arsenal’s five matches domestically and in Europe this term, suggesting the 20-year-old is a player for the future and will be given time to develop.
Beyond the young Frenchman there is only the consistently disappointing Nicklas Bendtner to call upon and a player who hasn’t scored a goal in his last ten games at club and international level should not be good enough for a side with Premier League title ambitions.