New Wenger quotes on £33m striker: He's EXTREMELY dangerous

Arsenal boss previewed first leg of AC Milan versus Atletico Madrid Champions League tie on Wednesday, reserving praise for a potential transfer target.

It is no secret that Arsenal FC are light of quality in their striking department. Olivier Giroud is Arsene Wenger's preferred starter, but has returned just ten from 24 Premier League appearances, leading to detractors suggesting the Gunners could see more goals with a more clinical forward.

Giroud, though, has more to his game than goals alone, he is also an assist provider, for instance, and his link-up play with Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey has, throughout the season, all been on point.

There are few candidates to challenge the Frenchman for the starting role, though, as Nicklas Bendtner is sporadically used and appears destined for a summer exit, while Yaya Sanogo remains raw.

One player who is judged solely by goals, Diego Costa, has long been speculatively linked with a transfer from Atletico Madrid to Arsenal, with the rumours heightened when Wenger described the Brazil-born Spaniard as 'an animal'.

Indeed, his productivity in front of goal does not seem human as he averages a goal/assist every 81 minutes he is on a Primera Division pitch, with a total of 21 goals and four assists from 24 appearances thus far this season.

Costa's ability may well be game-changing for Atletico when the Spanish side take on AC Milan in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash, to be competed at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this evening, Wednesday.

Said Wenger, as per his Eurosport blog: 'Atletico are really strong. They are extraordinarily steady in their results. In la Liga, they have the same number of points as Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are really strong in defence. And they have Diego Costa up front, who is extremely dangerous in counter attacks.'

He continued: 'I believe that Atletico will start this confrontation as a favourite. It’s impossible for [AC]; they're still Milan. And they have good players too, and have just added Keisuke Honda. They have a lot of quality players. But still, what Atlético have done over the past two years shows that they are really, really strong.'

In January, Atletico director Jose Luis Perez Caminero confirmed that Costa had a release clause amounting to what would be close to £32m. He is contracted to the Vicente Calderon club until June, 2018.

image: © wonker

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