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Signing £30m striker for £2m can be Arsene Wenger's biggest masterstroke

Dimitar Berbatov

Arsenal's potential signing of former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov could be a title winning masterstroke.

Arsenal have confounded critics by emerging into 2014 top of the Premier League table, and now the hard work really begins.

As the season moves into it's second phase, it's time for the Gunners to tool up and add weapons to their arsenal, and that certainly means a new striker.

Olivier Giroud has just emerged from a month long goalscoring drought, only to pick up a short term ankle injury, Lukas Podolski is recuperating from four months out, while Nicklas Bendtner - an unlikely saviour yesterday - has now been ruled out himself for over a month.

Giroud is expected to return shortly, and Theo Walcott can play a role too - but one extra face would certainly boost the club's chances of lifting silverware at the end of the season.

Olivier Giroud stated this week he did not want a striker to be signed, but given the injury situation - Arsene Wenger would be remiss to listen to him.

It is being reported in today's papers that Arsenal are moving towards signing Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham - a deal which could just be genius.

Berbatov made clear last month his intention to leave Fulham, and Arsenal are a side which can match his ambition.

The Bulgarian is a striker who once cost Manchester United £30.75 million back on deadline day in 2008, after two successful seasons at rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners are not a side Berbatov has fared well against in his career, scoring four times in 18 appearances against them, but in his defence he has never been a prolific type of striker.

He is a player who frustrates fans as much as he amazes them, one capable of a moment of magic.

In short he is a player capable of scoring a title winning goal with a flick of the boot, one who can help turn tight games just as Wenger's men encountered yesterday.

Signing him for just £2 million would be an astute piece of business. The Fulham man may not be the big name a fan pictured holding a placard at the Emirates yesterday begging for Cavani, Costa or Martinez was hoping for, but he might just be what they need for the here and now.

Given that top sides are very reluctant to sell their top players anyway, let alone in mid-season, snaring a top striker is difficult in January, especially one who is not cup-tied.

Short-term deals can be just as effective, Manchester United received a big boost from Henrik Larsson in 2007 when he signed on loan, allowing Sir Alex Ferguson to rotate his squad during a busy period, and giving them a lift en route to winning their first title in four seasons. 

While gambling on a player as potentially infuriating as Berbatov could leave Wenger open to criticism if it backfires, in economic terms it works - leaving Arsenal's big pot of cash in reserve to put towards signing a big name in the summer when one is more attainable.

Berbatov at his best is a player who can be very useful to Arsenal. A hat-trick against Liverpool and a five goal blitz of Blackburn were among his highlights for United. It is not thought he has lost his talent at Fulham, purely a bit of his motivation. At a club like Arsenal who are chasing for trophies - he may just re-discover his mojo.

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