The Premier League giants who both qualified for the Champions League last term will likely both require the services of a forward this summer. Arsenal have been heavily reliant on the services of their only senior centre-forward Olivier Giroud whilst Liverpool could be resigned to offloading Luis Suarez to Barcelona following his four-month ban from FIFA.
However, whilst Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a striker, he is a senior international representing the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil this summer and could be available judging by his recent comments earlier this week, the 30-year-old Dutchman is not the striker that either Arsenal or Liverpool need.
Whilst all of this talk surrounds Huntelaar, even more speculation surrounds the future of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez who is, incidentally, linked with both the Gunners and the Reds.
The two ‘targets’ are very different players – Huntelaar is a 6ft1” more traditional target man who combines power and physical prowess with top quality finishing, evidenced by his 172 goals in 245 appearances for Schalke in the last four years.
However, what both Arsenal and Liverpool require (if Suarez leaves Anfield) is more of a 10-and-a-half type of forward, such as Suarez is and judging by Arsenal’s now infamous £40,000.001 bid to sign him last summer, that is exactly what they require. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger already has a target man (two if you count young Yaya Sanogo) but what it is clear in his attempts to acquire Suarez, and previously Gonzalo Higuain, is that the French coach wants a player who can play anywhere across the front three, such as Alexis Sanchez.
Meanwhile, Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers has already brought in an experienced Premier League target man in England striker Rickie Lambert who signed for £4 million from Southampton. The Reds also have an out-and-out top-level striker in England’s Daniel Strurridge as well as the option of Fabio Borini should they choose to keep him at the club next term.
If Suarez is sold, Liverpool will have a lot of money to throw around and I very much doubt Rodgers will want to spend any of it on a 30-year-old striker who, despite his quality, especially his finishing ability, is not a flexible or particularly creative player which is what they will be most in need of replacing should Suarez leave. Either way, whether it’s Arsenal or Liverpool you support, it’s abundantly clear that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is not the answer.