There has been speculation that Arsenal could be prepared to trigger the Atletico player’s £14 million release clause, but Lopez would not add enough threat to Wenger’s side to be worth that kind of money.
With Chelsea and Liverpool dipping into the transfer market as soon as the clock struck midnight on December 31st, Arsenal fans might already be getting itchy fingers about their own club’s inactivity. With that in the mind, the rumours that a deal for Atletico Madrid’s forward Adrian was close was met with excitement, but the 24 year old is not the striker they should be pursuing.
Arsenal will likely continue to play the three-pronged attack system they have used this season no matter who they sign in January, and part of the appeal of Adrian is that he can play in any position across the attack. However this flexibility is also an indication that Adrian is not an out and out goalscorer, and puts him in a category of forward that Arsenal already have plenty of already.
So far this season Adrian has scored twice and provided one assist in 22 appearances. Nine of these appearances were from the bench, and he would likely have started even fewer games had Diego Costa been fit all season. Adrian is adaptable, but he is not a goalscorer, and he is not even a guaranteed starter at Atletico Madrid. £14 million is a lot of money for a player with those attributes.
Added to that, Lopez will be joining a club who already have plenty of players in his position. Not all of them are outstanding, but you’d be very surprised if Lopez was an improvement on Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the current starting trio. Lopez could be brought in as cover, but for £14 million, or even £10 million, you would be expecting more than just a bench warmer.
Arsenal have made plenty of poor decisions in the transfer market in recent years, with the likes of Gervinho and Olivier Giroud demonstrating that it’s tricky to find a player capable of really improving their attack.
If they do sign Adrian Lopez, the Spaniard could well end up being another fairly expensive player that simply doesn’t make enough of an impact at the Emirates, and Arsenal should perhaps look elsewhere this January.
image: © azuaje