With Olivier Giroud carrying the sole striking burden on his shoulders for Arsenal this term, the north London club are expected to move for a new attacker in the January transfer window to increase Arsene Wenger’s options up front.
A plethora of names have been linked with the Gunners, but the latest one today is former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou.
The Lille attacker is thought to have a modest £2.5 million release clause in his contract, and has told his agent to sound out potential suitors, according to The Daily Mail.
It is believed that the Ivory Coast international is keen on a return to the Premier League, after spending six seasons with Chelsea between 2006 and 2012.
Never lethal at Stamford Bridge, the African attacker has seemingly found his shooting boots since his move to Ligue 1.
Kalou hit 14 goals in the French top tier last term, more than he ever scored in a campaign for the west Londoners. He has played his part this season in Lille’s rise to second place in Ligue 1 this season, netting three goals in the process.
Despite not being the world-class striker that Arsenal fans would love their club to sign, would Kalou be a viable short-term fix for the Gunners?
Although he has past connections to Chelsea, Kalou’s addition may well be an inspired one for Arsene Wenger’s men.
With Giroud in form and able to get the goals to fire Arsenal into silverware contention, all that is needed is a back-up that can be trusted, is fit and has the right attitude.
Nicklas Bendtner does not fit the bill currently and is likely to leave in January, and Kalou could be the ideal replacement.
If Arsenal were to sign someone like Jackson Martinez or a high-profile forward, it could impact negatively on Giroud and restrict the in-form attacker’s time on the pitch.
However, a player signed as a designated back-up could get the best out of the France international, by giving him a rest when he needs it but allowing him to continue as the club’s main striker.
How Kalou’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium would be viewed remains to be seen, but given the affordable price, his experience and seemingly improved eye for goal, there are certainly worse options available to Arsenal in January.
image: © Ben Sutherland