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Arsenal legend: Forget Berbatov, sign €38m superstar

Arsenal Invincible Martin Keown has offered his assessment of the club's striker chase in January, but is he missing the point somewhat?

Former Spurs and United striker Dimitar Berbatov is the striker most prominently linked with signing for Arsenal over the past 24 hours, but not everybody is in agreement.

Supporters who read our assessment that it could be a masterstroke by Wenger to snap him up for £2 million were split in their responses, and it seems Martin Keown is not enamoured with the move either.

Writing in his Q&A column for The Mail today, he stated in response to a question from Pier Morgan that he felt the club should be setting their sights on a more expensive target.

"If Wenger brings somebody in, he has to be better than what’s already there. People talk about a quick fix with Dimitar Berbatov.

"He’s a great talent, and has great vision but I don’t think he’d compete in the air as well as Giroud. But you want a striker that puts the fear of God into the opposition, and you have to ask where that player is."

So who is that man? Why it's Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa of course, who has a €38 million release clause in his contract.

"With Mesut Ozil in the summer, Arsenal changed their policy somewhat, so do they go with big money again for somebody like Diego Costa? If he’s on their radar and his fee is fixed, they should go for him sooner rather than later."

But is Keown missing the point? Arsene Wenger would not be signing Dimitar Berbatov over Diego Costa out of choice.

He would sign off on the transfer out of practicality, because Berbatov is the one he could convince to sign now.

While there are no complications in terms of Costa's fee; it's unlikely he would move mid-season. While swapping a La Liga challenge for a Premier League one may not be a reason against it, the fact he would have to forget Champions League football for the rest of 2013/14 would be.

With the World Cup coming up, and Costa pledging his allegiance to Spain, it's hard to see him turning his back on the country months before the tournament having just quailified to play for them under residency rules.

Keown's message may come from the right place, but world class strikers in January are as difficult to sign as the Premier League is to win. Berbatov may just be the best compromise the Gunners can snap up.

image: © nasmac

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