When scouting out targets to bolster their attacking ranks this summer, there’s little doubt that the first thing Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal will check is their goals tally.
Given the price-tags bandied around for the strikers the north London clubs reportedly have on their radar, it’s only natural to demand a solid record of putting the ball in the back of the net.
However, both sides would be wise to look beyond players who live and die on their goal record, as adding a poacher to their squads is unlikely to boost either’s hopes for success next season.
Spurs already found that out to their cost when they splashed out on Roberto Soldado, whose inability to lead the line effectively as a lone striker in the Premier League has been evident from the moment he strode out onto the White Hart Lane pitch.
Harry Kane has not only been a better goalscorer for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but also contributed a huge amount to their build-up play, holding up the ball admirably and occupying whole defences singlehandedly.
Similarly, Arsenal fans might lambast Olivier Giroud’s inability to rack up the kind of goal tallies seen at other Champions League sides, but his selfless work has allowed Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla to shine.
The Gunners must avoid spending £20-30m on a player simply because they’re sharp in the 18-yard box, as their attacking midfielders are the real stars of their side.
Both teams have been linked with Jackson Martinez for example, but the Porto poacher would be a misguided purchase despite the fact he has been crowned as the Portuguese league’s top scorer in the last three seasons.
Gonzalo Higuain is another frontman with an impressive goal-scoring record who would do little to improve Arsenal in comparison to Giroud due to his single-minded style.
Instead, the Gunners need to find a player who shares Giroud’s qualities, while adding an extra edge in front of goal. Karim Benzema is one such striker, but a deal for the France international could well be difficult to strike.
For Spurs, the equation is a little different. They need a backup for Kane, one who shares his ability to bring others into the play and won’t be unhappy at starting most games on the bench.
Rickie Lambert could be an option, especially considering his past success working with Pochettino, while Danny Ings would also fit the bill if Liverpool don’t beat Spurs to the Burnley man.
Arsenal are 4/1 to win the Premier League next season, while Spurs are the same price to claim a top-four spot.