Ray Parlour joined the chorus of Arsenal supporters who feel that athe ddition of a new striker would give the club a new dimension. Parlour is well-known among the Gunners’ supporters and made 470 appearances for the club between 1991 and 2004.
Parlour says that the club does not know the club’s first choice centre forward. This is in complete contrast to the other clubs in the league, barring a few. This puts the club in a dilemma as to who the focal point of the attack would be.
For quite some time, there are concerns at the club on the capabilities of Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman hasn’t done enough to warrant confidence that he could lead the line and take the club to the next level.
Arsenal has been strongly linked with Giroud’s fellow Frenchman Karim Benzema, who is currently with La Liga side Real Madrid. Giroud has long been chased by Arsene Wenger and was following him even before he landed up at the Spanish capital.
The growing noise for a new striker from Parlour follows the endorsement from another legend Thierry Henry. He commented last week that a transfer for Benzema would make Arsenal genuine title contenders.
Parlour’s statements come in the wake of an opening day 2-0 loss at home to West Ham United. The criticism of the squad will increase following the defeat, but Parlour admits that clearing the confusion around the striker will make the situation better. Having an out-and-out first-choice striker is the first step for every Premier League club and Arsenal is no exception.
“That is a position they’ve got to look at,” Parlour told Sky Sports. “Everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon now but it’s a long, hard season and there’s a long way to go.
“If you look at Man City, you know Sergio Aguero is their main man, for Manchester United it’s Wayne Rooney and at Chelsea, it’s Diego Costa. Who is it at Arsenal?
“I didn’t know who would start for Arsenal on Sunday because Theo Walcott started the Community Shield. I don’t think they have someone who you can say ‘he’s definitely going to play and he will score us goals’.
“Walcott will run in behind and has more pace and Giroud brings the midfield in a bit more – I think he (Giroud) is ahead of Theo at the moment.
“(Karim) Benzema has been well linked and if they could get a proven goalscorer like that then it would be fantastic. They can afford to get him and start competing in the transfer market whereas before they couldn’t because of the stadium.
“He (Wenger) has proved in the past few years he will go and get those big players and Benzema would undoubtedly strengthen their side.”
Most of the Premier League competitors have their front lines settled. Chelsea have Diego Costa and everyone saw how desperate Jose Mourinho is to have even a half-fit Spaniard start for the Blues. Manchester City look to Sergio Aguero to be their front man while their city rivals United have Wayne Rooney to look forward to.
The same cannot be said of Giroud at Arsenal. Theo Walcott started as the striker for the Community Shield game while Giroud did the role against West Ham. However, there seems to be unanimity on the requirement for a new striker ahead of both those contenders. So, will Parlour’s latest statements force the hand of Wenger to dig into the transfer market?
More importantly, will Benzema move? Nothing seems to be coming from the player’s camp except a few over-enthusiastic reports from the Spanish media. But Parlour hopes that the Frechman really does arrive – for the good of the Gunners.