A Striker Glut is Coming
For long, we’ve cried out for a striker like Alexandre Lacazette (when he was on form) and we got him. For long, we have silently wished for a striker of Aubameyang’s calibre. Then we got him, too.
Eddie Nketiah, who killed the youth league, got promoted and banged in two goals on his debut. He was the crown successor, groomed to take over at some point. Until Gabriel Martinelli this season. Bought for peanuts from Brazil and labelled as one for the future, the teenager immediately set about impressing in the preseason and challenging the “one for the future” label. In the glum of this season, the prodigy got his chances and took them so emphatically that Jurgen Klopp famously called him “a talent of the century” while Ronaldinho said he reminded him of O Fenomeno, the legendary Brazilian frontman.
Meanwhile, Tyreece John-Jules, who has played a friendly for the club, Sam Greenwood and Folarin Balogun are in the background, each threatening to burst through any moment now with Balogun scoring brilliant goals for fun in the U23’s.
Such a pileup of number nines make for a heavy headache for a club that prides in giving chances to their youth products with the problem being that there are just not that many chances to go around. Nketiah will surely see more action in the box while Martinelli also can play in the role. If Aubameyang stays on, both of our striking prodigies will need to be carefully managed in order to satisfy their appetite for game time as well as their development.
The likes of Folarin and John-Jules will likely go out on loan to lower league clubs. Not all of them will make it here but a few are guaranteed to. At Arsenal, we can only live up to our name and reputation for giving youngsters a chance.