Arsenal are facing something of a mini-crisis in the striking department at the moment. Olivier Giroud thankfully seems to have recovered from sickness - but with Nicklas Bendtner out, Lukas Podolski only just back fit, Theo Walcott done for the season and Yaya Sanogo’s debut campaign looking like a write off they are certainly short up top.
But a report in The Telegraph this morning suggested that despite links with Alvaro Morata, Dimitar Berbatov and Jackson Martinez, Wenger will not buy a new striker this winter.
He would prefer to wait until the summer - when prices are generally lower and teams a little more likely to chat.
That means he may have to rely on those strikers hanging around the fringes of the first-team - such as Park Chu-Young, Chuba Akpom and one former protégé in Benik Afobe.
When Afobe burst onto the scene with an impressive loan spell at Huddersfield Town it was supposed to be the beginning of a bright career in North London.
But the headstrong striker has suffered with injury problems in the past couple of seasons. First it was a hip problem, and he has just recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament - which kept him out of action for ten months.
But while many mope around and feel sorry for themselves when injured - this bright star looked to improve his game the best he can whilst crocked.
His interview with Arsenal.com was posted yesterday, in which he reveals how he studied some of Europe’s top strikers to try and learn how to mimic them when he is back in full swing.
And while Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo got mentions - there is no doubt who he was paying the closest attention to:
“I watched a lot of football; I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve studied a lot of strikers around Europe, like Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo…The three players I like a lot are Luis Suarez, Ronaldo and Lewandowski…Ronaldo should win the Ballon d’Or all day long - he is my favourite player in the world at the moment. Chuba [Akpom] loves Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and we were having an argument about who is better: Lewandowski or Ibrahimovic. I said ability-wise maybe Ibrahimovic is better, but in terms of work rate and who brings more to the team, it’s Lewandowski.”
The Bayern Munich bound strikers name came up on several occasions during the interview - and he is in fact the perfect example for a player like Afobe.
They are both about the same height and build, both adept on each foot and both surprisingly quick heeled. Afobe has picked the perfect model to base his game on - and if he can replicate anything near Lewandowski’s goal return, there won’t be a striker crisis at Arsenal for much longer.
image: © Roger Gorączniak