The plea to sign a striker used to be most vociferous from Tottenham Hotspur fans. But now their North London rivals Arsenal will be heading into January with exactly the same remit – to bring a top-class goal-scorer to the club.
There may be plenty around, but few make the move midway through a season. Yet Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo may be an exception, with rumours resurfacing that he could be on his way to Turkish side Fenerbahce.
It was a move the Paraguayan nearly made last summer. In fact so likely was the transfer that his agent said the following to Turkish website Fanatik.
“The negotiations between the two clubs are going well and the agreement is practically closed. There are only a few details to be resolved. His signing could come at any time.”
But that time never came, and instead Cardozo remained at Benfica, where he has so far scored eight goals this season – including a sublime hat-trick in his side’s 4-3 Portuguese Cup victory over FC Porto earlier this month.
Now newspaper A Bola has picked up on fresh claims by Fanatik that Fenerbahce will try again in January.
And yet there is an alternative that has not been reported but should at least be suggested. With both Arsenal and Tottenham in need of a new frontman, Cardozo could be the answer.
At 30 he is no spring-chicken. But anyone who saw his strikes in that 4-3 thriller will know he could be the difference between winning and losing, between Champions League qualification and disappointment, or maybe, just maybe, the difference between a title win and an admirable effort.
If Benfica really are willing to do business in January – and given his form they may not be – Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas would be wise to at least consider it.
It is rare that a quality marksman is available in the post-Christmas sales. But he may be a shrewd piece of business in the grand scheme of things.
image: © Nicholas Raymond