In-depth analysis of Arsenal’s top Five striker targets

Its time we had a serious chat about our striker situation. by Benedict

Lacazette and Nketiah have scored one single combined goal since the start of the calendar year, a penalty against Leicester. Both players have come under a lot of scrutiny for their lack of firepower in our battle for top four.

Especially since Aubameyang left the club in January (for free) and is currently on fantastic form with 9 goals from 11 games for Barcelona, as well as both Kane and Son are flying for Sp*rs in recent games.

When we compare our squad to our rivals, we distinctly lack quality up top.

Watching Lacazette is frustrating, he goes deep every attack and attempts to link up play from deep, he doesn’t contribute with goals enough at all. Playing this type of striker will not get us Champions League football. That’s the reality of it.

Arteta clearly acknowledged this reality when attempting to sign Vlahovic for £60 million in January, after letting go of our best quality forward who still had 18 months left with the club.

The issue is, there is a lack of top draw strikers and centre forwards available in the market at present. Here are the ones we are linked with.

  • Darwin Nunez
  • Alexander Isak
  • Jonathan David
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin
  • Ivan Toney

I will give my opinion on each one and then decide who I would choose to sign if I were Arteta.

Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan international has played for Benfica for the last two seasons, he is currently the top scorer in the Liga Portugal with 24 goals and three assists, which is a goal every contribution every 68 minutes.

The 22-year-old is a pressing forward who is very fast and can get in behind of a defensive line, additionally he is also tall and physical at six foot one and so is able to finish a lot of chances with his head or by creating his own space.

He is on red-hot form and would be a huge asset at any top club in Europe, he has proved he can perform on the biggest stage (Ajax in Champions League) that he has the quality to be a top player.

Considering the successful integration of Fernandez to the premier league, I think that he would be a fantastic signing at around his £60 million price tag, however Manchester United, Newcastle and Bayern Munich are all interested in the player too so it will be difficult to secure his signature.

Alexander Isak is the most obvious target, we offered around £58 million for the Swedish striker in January but were rejected as Real Sociedad said they will only accept their release clause of £75 million for him.

He is rapid and can play as a centre number nine for us, with excellent box movement.

He does not use his height and strength well though, I do believe that he would be a good counter attacking option but less effective at helping to break down a difficult side.

This season he has only managed five goals compared to 17 the season before so this does make me apprehensive about signing him as he has lacked consistency and we don’t need that around this young Arsenal.

Jonathan David plays as a second striker at Lille, he has found great success dropping off the front line and linking play between midfield and attack as well as creating space and finishing off passing moves.

David is very good at pressing high up the pitch. He gets a lot of interceptions and tackles in the opponents third which is a quality that Arteta loves and makes him an attractive striker.

The 22-year-old Canadian could be a strong option but he may take some time adapting to playing as a lone striker and so may mean that Laca would need a year contract extension to help Davids’ development.

This means no quick fix or instant impact from the striker.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is proven, he is a technical target man who can drop deep to help interlink play. At still only 24-years-old he could be a great option which would remind me a lot of Giroud.

Having played for England and performed at a very poor Everton, I believe we could poach the player for a decent price, in fact Arsenal are reportedly considered to be in ‘pole position’ to sign DCL in the summer.

Its important to note that he is fantastic in the air and would add a different arial threat from crosses, corners and free kicks, as well as balls straight into the strikers’ feet.

Basically, I think that he would be expensive but a huge upgrade on Laca and do the kind of job he did when first arriving at Arsenal.

Ivan Toney could be a very good backup option this summer at around £35 million from Brentford, a Premier League proven player with 12 goals in his debut season and was the top goals scorer in the championship in 20-21 when he scored 31 goals.

He is a great penalty taker, can cover Lacazette’s role and a natural finisher, at 26-years-old he isn’t the young talent we are looking for but still has the prime years ahead of him and would do well with better service at Arsenal.

Finally, Brentford have a ‘habit’ of selling players when they are on form and would need to generate some cash to re-invest in the team if they want to stay in the Premier League another season so I can see this happening.


If I were to choose it would be Darwin Nunez as the main signing as well as a Ivan Toney later in the transfer window if we can afford two. We would need a strong backup for squad depth if we play European football and I do not see Balogun in the first team yet.

However, to save money I might extend Laca for an extra year as a backup striker, as we need to spend on a centre midfielder and right back cover too this summer.

What do you think Gooners?


Tags striker targets


  1. Ivan toney ahead of dcl if we want a cf with pl experience and nunez if affordable if not we move for jovic on loan with an option to buy.never should we go near morata.

    1. Half of Toneys goals are penalties. Open play goals just a handful.

      Also he’s shown awful attitude towards Brentford (look it up). Huge pass on him.

    2. No! no! no! no. Alexander Mitrovic is far better than him with a lot of PL experience and is very prolific.
      Ivan Toney has scored 5 penalties. Never Ivan Toney please! please!

  2. I disagree with your opinion about our CF’s attempt to link up play from deep, because the CFs of Real Madrid, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs have been doing it to allow their teammates to score. We just need a taller, faster and younger CF with Lacazette’s challenges and hold-up play abilities

    Based on your list, I only paid attention to Isak’s performance in Euro and it wasn’t good enough to be our main CF. Calvert-Lewin was good when he was younger, but it’s been a long time since I saw him start a game

    We can’t have another expensive flop like Pepe for the CF position, since it’s the most important part of our spine. Therefore I suggest we loan someone first, sign a good EPL CF like Watkins or sign a tall one in the mold of Vlahovic/ Giroud

    1. Gai, Darwin Nunez is actually good. 6foot tall, quick, physical and finishes well he is also good aerially. Most South American strikers are often technically good and he is a Uruguan. I bet you need to watch this guy. The only downside is that he plays in the Portuguese league where Christiano was also discovered.

      1. Sometimes, premier league English CF are quite over rated . It’s only Kane I have seen really very consistent at the moment even when Tottenham are not playing well. Among the top4 teams no English striker has been exceptional this season apart from Kain and the Arsenal, young upcoming tarlents. And one or two in City and Man U.

        1. Alexander Mitrovic is very consistent though in the championship. Very excellent back up striker

        2. If you’ve been watching Nunez in Portuguese league, I trust your judgement. I just don’t want a striker like Aubameyang, who’s pacey and tall but can’t hold the ball in the CF position

          I agree that some EPL CFs are overrated. We won’t be able to sign Kane, but Watkins could be a good option since we’ve seen how he handled our CBs in some games

  3. Can’t see Nunez joining us with the quality of competition for his signature. Other than him, we shouldn’t spend big money on any of the other options.
    So I’d go for Toney and keeping Nketia. Or we go for Tami Abraham. If we make a good offer to Roma, I can see the player pushing to come back to the PL

  4. Is there any perfect person on earth? No. Arsenal needs a quality striker to score goals. Only by scoring goals, you win games. So, the best choice there is obviously Darwin Nunez. There are areas of his game that will improve with time, as is it with the others, but, he not only dominating his league, he scores against giants in the champions league like Liverpool, Ajax, Bayern and Barcelona. Nunez (22yrs.old) would be a great long term investment for Arsenal.

  5. Nunez would be my ideal CF. But as CorporateMan pointed out, the quality of those competing for his signature all but eliminates us from getting him. And even if we did get him, we would still need 3/4 quality signings that would accentuate his skill set.
    Us getting that CL spot means zilch if we’re not able to actually compete in it. And I seriously doubt we’ll be able to…IJS

  6. The competition for Darwin is too fierce, I doubt we can win the race,

    South Americans are Natural born soccer talents,
    If we can’t get Darwin, we should boost our midfield with a mix of tall, strength, speed and skill, after all someone has been feeding Darwin passes and then we get Ivan Toney and Richarlison,
    These 2 each could stand against Any defenders,

    Just my thoughts 💭.

  7. I don’t watch much top level football outside of the English Premier League to be honest but from what little I have watched I reckon Nunez looks the best bet if we could get him

    From the Premier League players listed I would go for Toney over Calvert Lewin, would prefer Watkins to either but Villa unlikely to let him go, which is perhaps why he wasn’t on the list

    I’m a bit surprised that you thought Laca was worth another season Benedict, given the shortened shopping list you presented, personally I would like us to have a chat with Leeds about Bamford myself, I feel he could be available and could do the Laca job, but better, including helping to bring the youngsters along

    1. @FF, I quite agree, Bamford Could be the next Harry Kane, if we getting him, it means we would need to get another experienced CF, AM and CMs
      I don’t mind Richarlison as the experienced forward, I just have that feeling he’ll bag goals.

  8. What makes you think Laca will sign up for another season as a back up when he can go on a free with a big signing on fee? Personally I wouldn’t want him to anyway.

  9. Darwin Nunez is ideal for Arsenal and financial wise I can see Stan is backing up our manager but as many said, competition for him is too fierce and for Arsenal is slim as of now. First we need to qualify for CL then can attract more suitable CF for Arsenal.
    My personal choice will be Tammy Abraham since he has PL experience and currently getting into his prime considering his age.

  10. OT: according to the “daily Mirror”,Arsenal and Barca are in talks about a players swap involving Gabriel.

  11. Should I go along with the Jurists who have gone for the 22 year old Darwin Nunez as the no 1 Arsenal striker signing target next summer’s transfer window? Well, I wouldn’t know for sure if I should go along with them. But on paper he looks tempting for signing by Arsenal if they don’t find a better option to him to sign.

    Us Gooners know what? It is amazing to read from some Gooners comments that they are now appreciating the quality of Oliver Girioud. Who when he was at Arsenal playing was derogatorily called the lamb post. Hmmm.

    On to our next match away to So’ton on Saturday. And I think the Gunners who will play the match will need a revival to revive them from the doldrums which they’ve fallen into in their last 2 matches if they are to beat the Saints to return to the winning ways ahead of their daunting big game match away to Chelsea next Wednesday night.

    But who is going to revive the Gunners in their doldrums that will make them beat the Saints at St Mary’s on Saturday? Arteta? Yes! Is him. For, this time around, he MUST get his Gunners selection for the match very right that will win the match unfailingly.

    Towards actualising this objective for Arsenal, I want to encourage Arteta to be bold to bench Lacazette for the our Saints match. And start Nkethia as CF for the match. And plays Martinelli and Saka to his right and left and right wings respectively as the fron-three. While Xhaka, ESR and Odegaard should share the 3 midfield positions responsibility for Arsenal in the match. And would Arteta be also bold to start Nuno Taveres again at leftback for the match? I think Arteta should. Taveres who when he was playing fairly well was dropped for Tierney to resume playing has led to N Taveres dip. But I think if Arteta gives him another chance to start our Southampton match, he will seize the chance to turn up very well for Arsenal in the match.

    ,my suggestEd Gunners starters for our Saints match is premised on if the Gunners who I have suggested to Arteta to start them are fit, in-form and ready to start the match.

    1. Well said but I don’t agree on your midfield selection, Smith-Rowe and Oedegaard are too soft,
      I think to stand as a good cover for the defense especially Tavares, Elneny would have to play alongside xhaka then Miguel, as he seems the most ruthless of the teenagers promoted alongside saka,

    2. Also A lot you don’t see how Lacazette helps the midfield, although this affects our attacking but if he’s dropped for Nketiah, it simply means we’ll be over run in the middle,
      The EPL has become so rough that lightweights can’t survive as CFs.

  12. We will need 2 !

    Toney / richarlison

    Or Watkins and either

    If we don’t get cl

    This is best scenario also from another league big risk

    Ie – Pepe 72 mill

  13. I don’t see DCL as “proven” exactly. He’s had good times in the pl but a lot of mediocrity as well. He’s quick, strong and good in the air, but I’m not convinced he’s consistently good in other departments. He’s one that could take off at arsenal but could end up as a Danny welbeck type – ok but nothing special.

  14. Edu will probably sign an unknown Brazil lad playing in the 6th tier of the Brazilian league’s and re sign the goal scoring machine Lacazette.

  15. I understand your picks, but I expected your list to include players like Osimhen (whom we are linked with of late) and also Martinez from Inter. The links to DCL heard other sources say we are not interested anymore. But still a very good list

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