Arsenal Targets: Comparing the Gunners’ Rumoured Forward Options This Summer

​Having been linked with the downright bizarre to the unfathomably unlikely, whatever transpires this window, Unai Emery will definitely be bringing in at least one forward this summer.

Blessed with the wondrous talents of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan last season (that’s a joke), Arsenal’s most potent winger turned out to be their striker and top scorer in the end.

With all due respect, the club is crying out for some talent in wide areas. Thus, as a result, every man and his dog has been linked with a move to north London for fees stretching from the piddly to the prodigious.

So here are a few of the forwards who’ve been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates this season, and how viable their proposed transfers may be.


Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

What He’ll Bring: Flair, creativity, cutting edge, excitement and he isn’t Alex Iwobi. There’s no doubting ​Zaha‘s talents, quite regularly revered as the best player outside the ‘top six’ and a threat to any side in the country at any point – he’ll bring a wealth of skill and gusto to an already decent forward line.

Pros: Huge experience of the ​Premier League means no need to adapt, similarly it’s just north of the Thames so there would be no reason why he shouldn’t hit the ground running. Blessed with pace and technique, on top form there are few teams in Europe he wouldn’t improve. Also, supposedly he’s a ‘boyhood’ ​Arsenal fan, which is always questionable, I mean, so was Harry Kane…

Cons: He’s gonna cost an absolute fortune. Also, he’s partial to a cheeky dive or two. Nobody really likes that.

Likelihood: Unless BIG money comes in, 2/10

Cost: £80m


Lucas Vázquez

Lucas Vazquez

What He’ll Bring: Plenty of experience of a different league, as well as knowledge, having been coached by some of the very best. He’s won ​Champions Leagues so will add some much-needed winning mentality into the side.

Pros: Plays for ​Real Madrid so, like, has to be good right? I mean, Paris Saint-Germain, ​Inter and ​Bayern Munich have all asked about the Spaniard so there’s definitely some talent there, no? 30+ league outings for the last three seasons is not to be scoffed at, so fitness and energy should come in abundance.

Cons: The thing is right, is he actually any good? He’s scored a measly 11 ​La Liga goals in 122 appearances, which is really pretty awful when you consider the calibre of player he’s had alongside him. Furthermore, if you were to be kind and claim he’s more of a creative winger, then you would hope for more than three assists last term. Besides, he can’t get a game for the national side. Has ‘Spanish Theo Walcott’ written all over him, in my opinion.

Likelihood: If the recent rumours are true, at least a 7/10

Cost: £31m


Nabil Fekir

FBL-FRA-CUP-GUINGAMP-LYON

What He’ll Bring: A dodgy knee.

But aside from that, you would hope the form of 2017/18 and not 2018/19. Although, that said, it’s a bit harsh to say so because last season was by no means a poor one on his behalf – it’s just that the season before he was unplayable. He can play across the front line which is also very helpful, and might teach ​Mesut Ozil a thing or two about work rate.

Pros: Creativity both from wide areas and through the middle, where he prefers, and also a native French speaker too, so that link-up with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should ignite straight off the bat.

Cons: A dodgy knee.

Likelihood: Given the other targets and how quickly they’re developing, not much. 3/10

Cost: £30m


Malcom

EUR-FBL-C1-BARCELONA-TRAINING

What He’ll Bring: Similar to Zaha, Malcom would bring some much-needed flair and trickery to an Arsenal side that dazzle at times with their passing, but rarely get fans off their seats with individual brilliance. His style and approach are most definitely Brazilian, and the addition of a winger in that mould could get supporters purring.

Pros: He loves taking his man on, possessing the kind of confidence that abandons Arsenal away from home. That one-on-one ability is a welcome attribute, however, his creativity in attacking transitions could arguably be his best feature. Frighteningly quick, the 22-year-old is an excellent passer of the ball when running at speed, meaning counter-attacks are a specialty of his.

Cons: Yeah, so its all well and good saying that, however, all of the above seemingly went missing last season. Granted, the move to ​Barcelona seems to have been too big of a step, but he has flopped somewhat dramatically since heading to Spain. Fears he may be a one-season wonder have bubbled to the surface.

Likelihood: Unless there’s a loan with an option to buy deal, slim. 2/10

Cost: £36m


Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser

What He’ll Bring: Industry, and bags of it. While he may be small, Fraser certainly has a lot of fight about him. He covers every blade of grass and is the definition of a workhorse, which, oh dear lord, Arsenal lacked so much last season away from home. Sloppy showings that lacked any real heart on the road were the bane of every Gunners fans’ lives. Fraser won’t go hiding away at Brighton.

Pros: Assists, assists and more assists. 17 to be exact, which is a hell of a figure for a player whose side finished 14th in the league. With him in the side it comes as no surprise that ​Bournemouth scored the most goals outside the ‘top six’ though, such was Fraser’s influence. The Scotsman also bagged himself seven goals, as if the rest wasn’t enough.

Cons: It’s hard to think of many, in all honesty. Sure, he’s not a headline-grabbing name that will have Arsenal fans screaming, ‘Oh yes we’re definitely sealing Champions League football next season!!’, but that doesn’t mean he won’t deliver on the pitch. Can’t see where this is a bad move, maybe just that he’s only come good last season? 

Likelihood: The deal has apparently been brought back from the dead, so there’s a sniff of a chance. 5/10

Cost: £20m

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