Huntelaar or Gomez: The Safe Play

A lot of talk has been circulating about the need to purchase a new striker next season. Many mention Adebayor’s inconsistency and lack of efficiency, Eduardo’s inevitable lengthy recovery, Robin Van Persie’s injury riddled career and the youth of Nicklas Bendtner. On the other hand, some argue that we have plenty of options. We have Ade, RVP, Bendtner and Walcott for the beginning of next season, but we have Vela coming in and Eduardo poised to return. So who is right?

The fact is that they both, in a way, are right. On the one hand we do have a lot of strikers, but on the other hand, those strikers come with an asterisks.

Adebayor: Ade has had a great season. 30 goals is quite an accomplishment, especially for someone seeing their first full year as the number one at one of the worlds top clubs. At only 24, Adebayor will continue to get better and mature, which is fantastic news for Arsenal fans. But, as it is, Ade is not a finished product and he cannot do it all by himself. Adebayor will deliver next season, but it takes more than one player to win a title.

Robin Van Persie: There is little doubt that when healthy Robin possesses the talent to become on of the best players in the world. But there in lies the problem, [i]when[/i] he is healthy. Over the last several season Gooners have seen moments of his brilliance, but his legacy with Arsenal so far has been marred by long stretches on the injury table. The man may have talent but he is far from reliable week in week out.

Eduardo: Eduardo had the makings of a fantastic first campaign and a wonderful partnership with fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor. However, a vicious tackle at Birmingham ruled him out for the rest of this season and most of next. And if we are to be honest, it is highly unlikely that he will be seen back on the pitch until at least February.

Nicklas Bendtner: A solid return this season for the young Dane. And in recent weeks he has shown potential to move from an old school center forward role to more of a link up role, like Bergkamp. As bright as his future might be, he is still young and learning and he is not ready to last a large part of a tough campaign as a starter. He will undoubtedly play a larger role next season but Bendtner still needs to do some maturing before he is ready to start week in week out.

Theo Walcott: Walcott has been the one glimmer of hope towards the end of a disappointing season. He as really matured into quite the player and we all look forward to seeing what he can do next season. But if one looks at where Walcott has been most deadly this season, it is not up front but on the wings. Walcott lacks the physique to play up in the box. He is too small and too weak to deal with large, burly center backs. On top of this, playing to far forward takes away from Walcott’s greatest asset, his pace. If we look back on where Walcott has been at his best this season it has been when he was when he received the ball on the wings up towards the half way line and had room to run. Walcott seems to have a real future with the club, but as a winger and not a striker. Next season he should really focus on playing out wide instead of up in the box.

Carlos Vela: While the young Mexican did have a rather successful U 20 World Cup as a striker, the youngster has played all season on the left wing in the midfield for Spanish outfit Osasuna, which also happens to be the roll he now fills for the senior Mexican squad. On top of all this, he is still just 19 years of age and has never played a game in the Premier League, so how much can we honestly expect from him next season?

This leads me to my point: Arsenal should loan a striker, not buy one. When we analyze the true striking options for next season we appear to be stretched. Ade will surely be our number one with RVP partnering with him. But, as we have seen over three years now Van Persie is unreliable to be fit and will undoubtedly be out for periods of time this coming season. Bendtner is our third option but again, he is young and inconsistent and if RVP goes out, we would have little cover for Bendtner and Ade if one of them were to become injured as well. When Eduardo comes back, it will certainly be a boost but that wont be for quite some time and even then, it will take even more time for his to get back in the game. And while Walcott and Vela can both play up front, their speed and skill is better utilized on the wings rather than up front. Their focus should be giving us depth, speed and width next season, not playing up in the box.

In light of this, it would be most prudent to bring in another striker, such as Huntelaar or Mario Gomez on loan for a season with the option to buy. This would give us the depth we need next season as well as the flexibility we would require for future seasons. By going with the loan option we would be able to cover Eduardo and Van Persie for the next season without having to be tied down to anything should Van Persie manage to complete an injury free season and Eduardo manage to make a superb comeback and achieve the same form we saw this season. However, should the need arise to replace one of our strikers in seasons to come (a la Eduardo requires more time to get back to his same level or Van Persie fails to prove he can deliver) then having the option to purchase a striker like Huntelaar or Gomez come the end of next season could prove incredibly valuable, especially since they would have already played in the EPL with us for an entire season.

With Eduardo sure to be back for the 2009/2010 campaign Arsenal’s striker force will unquestionably be bolstered but his certain absence for most of next season combined with Robin’s inability to stay fit is a huge concern for Arsenal’s title assault. Bring in a striker on loan would allow us to add depth to the roster without running the risk of over crowding the position in the long run.

Triplec1988, proud member of The GoonerForum

24 Responses to Huntelaar or Gomez: The Safe Play

  1. scottpuffin says:

    I totally agree about the likes of van Persie being injured most of each season, and Eduardo not recovering until early next year or so, but the rumours linking us to Ben Arfa could also mean that he’s another option for a forward role if needed. He could certainly fill in until early next year.
    Wenger does like versatility, which is why I think he wants to sign Ben Arfa, Robinho, Gouffran, Menez, etc. Two birds, one stone, and all that!!! 🙂

    Link my site if you like:

  2. Darri says:

    This sounds good n’all! But there is not a fresh chance in hell that Gomez or Huntelaar will be loaned!

    But I agree, Arsenal need to bring in a new striker. If we wan’t to win the title we have got to have a plan B. If either Ade or RVP get injured for some period of time Bendtner is not capable of keeping Arsenal on top with the best of them.

    One other thing…. I want the Arsenal wide men to improve their crosses. Now that we’ve got Ade and Bendtner we’re going to be seeing a lot more headers!!

  3. nash says:

    i think any team would be out of their minds to loan out players of that calibre, sorry but it will never happen.maybe the only person we could get on loan surpirsingly is henry the sun is not shiming for him in spain

  4. Simon says:

    How do you expect to loan Ajax hottest property when clubs are queing up with 15 mil? And why would he come to Arsenal with only a possibility of a permanent move when the whole of Europe wants him. We dont need another striker. If we sell a striker then we might need one but we wont sell any of our strikers.

  5. AshGoon says:

    unbelievably ill informed article. so these clubs are just going to “loan” us £10/20m strikers are they?? can’t believe you’re even suggesting that!! why don’t we just ask for Eto’o on loan while we’re at it? in fact why buy players at all – Robinho is on the bench alot nowadays, maybe we can get him too – on loan!! do you not think Ajax will be holding out for top dollar, so that they can strengthen? I mean its not like they’re loaded in the Eredivisie is it? Write an article thats at least partially based on something that could happen, rather than in your own little fantasy world.

    while we’re at it, RVP – if AW thinks he’s only gonna last half a season at best, then I’m sure that he’ll do the right thing. But the point is he’s been unlucky, and also been rushed back when he shouldn’t have been, so lets not get fixated on that. This should also be tempered with the fact that the serious injury he got this yr was due to a tackle in an international friendly, which could have happened to anyone..

    Lastly, Dudu is making good progress, likely to be fit again in 6 months from the injury as its gone so well, add another 2-3 months recuperation and fitness training, a few reserve matches, and we’re likely to see him back in action for the 1st team by the end of the yr, so its not all doom and gloom!!

    Huntelaar on loan – priceless mate!!

  6. CaribKid says:

    There is a brilliant young striker who has had a full year in the EPL though somewhat restricted by injuries, played with a now relegated team, Birmingham, but showed the skill and prowess to succeed at the highest level. He is 20 year old Mauro Zarate and could be the perfect inexpensive acquisition for Wenger. He has as much if not more potential than Ben Arfa, would cost a lot less and does not come with a big ego or demands.

  7. otariq says:

    I’ve mention Zarate before as a player that Arsenal should pickup. I think he is better than Ben afra. He give Arsenal hell when he came into the team against Arsenal.

  8. ola says:

    Wenger clearly sees him as a striker, as he’s said dozen of times. Walcott himself wants to be a striker..

    Loan a striker of Gomez or Huntelaars class? Where would you get a striker like those, on LOAN? You think Huntelaar would go on loan to Arsenal, and then back to Ajax after a year? Dooon’t think so.. He’d rather go to Spurs..

  9. Reyes says:

    I ‘m now confused, Wenger is saying Walcot will play on the wings next season, and then he says that he will try to bring a player who have experience in the premiership, so that makes it more confusing.
    Fans thought when Wenger said he will buy a creative midfielder and a defender that he will buy Nasri, bin Arfa, Robinho, but now he moves Walcot to the wings why? maybe this confirms that Hleb will leave next year, but even then nobody will want to come in and play as a sub, look at the options to play there Rosicky, Vela, Walcot, Gibbs, Wishere, Traore and Hleb if he stays all playing as a subs for the new guy!
    I like the idea that it could be Mauro Zarate and hate it to be kranjkar but the problem remains at the wings.
    And maybe Wenger becomes crazy and buy Richards from (Man City) or Barry from (Aston Villa)!
    Strange things apparently will happen in the summer, whatever happens I feel Wenger will buy at least one English player.

  10. Dan says:

    Haha….Ajax/Stuttgart letting Huntelaar/Gomez out on loan for a season with an option to buy! Which planet do you live on? They would loan them out even for a day.
    It’s the same as Arsenal loaning out Ade or Fabregas for a season.
    Both Huntelaar and Gomes would cost close to £20m (Stuttgart told they want €50m for Gomes).

  11. Peter says:

    Aw is fond of saying all kind of things. The latest arsenal are not far off Mu maybe true but as they say the table doesn’t lie. That is the painful may take three four chances to score but Arsenal take more than ten to firfteen pots bf scoring. Furthermore the MU defence does not concede cheap goals unlike Arsenal.Mu buy for the short term/immediate future .AW buys for the long term. That I’m afraid for all gunner fans is the unpaltable truth.
    Mu doesn’t play fanciful football to entertain but to win.If you ask me I’ll choose winning / ugly soccer to pretty soccer with intricate pattersn which could at times bewilder even the Arsenal players.
    That in truth sums up the so called Arsenal not far off MU statement.As a matter of fact AW could have won the title had he reinforced the squad when all around him were calling for reinforcements.He chose not to do so.Sometimes being insular and buffeted by yes men is a serious crime.As Lehman so rightly pointed out Aw is Arsenal and could do no wrong.
    I can’t wait for the next season to start.Actualyy if AW had shelled out money for a decent center back things could have been diffrent. Now he has to fork out twice the amount of money to remedy the problem in the team.

  12. Ryan says:

    Eddie isn’t out for most of next season, he’ll be back in training around the start of the season and should be 100% fit around December.

    Wenger himself said that.

    It seems to be a common mistake that people think Eddie’s not coming back for ages. Unless there are some serious extra problems which arise it’s just not true. He won’t be a first choice regular for a couple of months, but to think he will miss most of next season is very far from being correct- presuming something major doesn’t happen to him again of course.

  13. Ryan says:

    The only position I think we could really do with a singing is CB.

    Dunne has only 1 year left on his contract, is really quality, wouldn’t have high wages, is experienced in the league but still only 28 and would cost less than 3 mil.

    Tell me you don’t think that’s a transfer worth doing!

    He’s top of my wanted list as much as anything because he ticks all the boxes including value for money. I don’t see why we need to spend a lot of money on players. Wenger has proved so many times it’s not what you spend, but who you spend it on. Rooney cost Utd 30 mil, RvP cost Arsenal 3 mil. I know RvP has been injured so much, but don’t tell me Rooney is worth 10x as much as RvP- and he’s been injured a fair bit too.

  14. Harry says:

    ‘Aw is fond of saying all kind of things. The latest arsenal are not far off Mu maybe true but as they say the table doesn’t lie. That is the painful may take three four chances to score but Arsenal take more than ten to firfteen pots bf scoring. Furthermore the MU defence does not concede cheap goals unlike Arsenal.Mu buy for the short term/immediate future .AW buys for the long term. That I’m afraid for all gunner fans is the unpaltable truth.’

    You’re right; the table doesn’t lie. Which also means you’re wrong. Arsenal indeed AREN’T far off Man Utd. 4 points isn’t a great deal- had we beaten them we’d have been champions. Taking further into account the ridiculous decisions that cost us points at Birmingham, Chelsea, and against Boro. Not excuses, just what actually happened.

  15. Billy Bremner says:

    cover for marathon man Clichy
    I see this in no blogs
    WHO is our cover at left back?
    Who, cos it aint Traore?

  16. terry says:

    Michael Owen about 7mill.

  17. Sandy says:

    Arsenal do not loan players… either we buy or we risk what have! I think we have the attacking options to play with next year as it has been said numerous times scoring goals wasn’t the problem, we need to sort out the defence and I’m still not convinced with Almunia!

    I agree that Dunne is a good option from a troubled Man City!

  18. NvmTBlks says:

    What we really need right now, i feel, to be complete, is not yet another goal scorer but a creator, another link-up man. Preferably in the mould of Bergkamp or Kanu but we know it’s almost impossible to find. So we should settle for proven inventive dudes like Diego or Van D Vaart who are still young but experienced. Benzema would be the perfect buy as i see him with Zidane’s poise. AFter that, convert Yaya Toure to replace Gallas. Perfetto.

  19. Radford says:

    The deal is pretty much done for Ben Afra, I don’t think we will buy a striker. As the problem was goals from midfield. With Vela coming back I think his services will be used straight away. As Rosicky & Ben Afra both play on the left, I think Vela will be put upfront straight away, even though he’s a small lad he looks strong enough to handle the thuggish centre backs in this country. The next signings will be a Central Defender & Defensive Midfielder, Raul Albiol is the most likely CD as there are talks of Richards and Sergio Ramos, but i don’t think wengers is going to suddenly get out £30 mil for anyone, unless Zidane or Pele was reborn! In DM Yaya Toure, Micheal Johnson, Barry or Jean Il Makoun, out of all these names the one that would make the most sense would be Yaya, as he’s the strength in the centre of the park we have been missing as well as height. Jean Il Makoun is only 5 8″ and as you know all the rest of our current midfielders apart from diaby are not near of hitting 6 0″. So down to the the 2 english guys, Barry good but too expensive, i can see silly money being used here….. e.g. Manu, Chelski or Pool and last of all Micheal Johnson, this is our most likely english target, as he is 6 0″ has the talent to become better than Barry and is still cheap enough for wenger to buy. I think all of these signings will be done within the next 3 weeks before the Euros start. If we get a keeper it will be after them.

  20. HighburyJD says:

    too many good young winger/strikers…?
    happened before – and wenger bought in a world class backup
    would henry have developed so quickly into a world class finisher without the competition/example of Davor Suker
    (the player who shows Wenger doesn’t only sign young potential stars)

  21. phatrick says:

    It is very very difficult to loan top strikers. All the risk is on the loaning club who won’t want a take the risk the player will flop (which would diminish their value), usually they want to capitalise on the player when they are at the highest market value.

  22. trudodyr says:

    chance of mauno zarate joining us is also out of the thin air. he is under contract in Saudi Arabia or whatever and they loaned him out – probably just for all Europe’s big guns to see and make them wanna buy him – and they are holding out for far more than 12 million £ for him as i remember, so stop this “cheap comparing to ben arfa” nonsense. i bet someone like newcastle or other top spenders this season (chelsea, anyone?) go for him.
    and yes, i too find it very unrealistic to think that Wenger would buy a striker considering all the strikers/attacking players he’s got – yes, most of them are with an “asterisk”, but van persie is really not “injury prone” per se – he’s had a lot of bad luck (well, looking at the season which we would most probably have won with only a little bit better luck – like we all). adebayor will hopefully continue his maturing – remember, he did all the hard work for most of the season all by himself up front – you can’t actually call him a clown like some known “arsenal reviewer” considering the amount of work he’s done – everyone’s legs would turn to spaghetti and you would miss a lot of chances, having worked so hard. and vela and walcott are options, and remember – wenger will not consider for one second that we will be without van persie again for most part of the season, it will just not happen. and looking at manu’s attack-force – well, we have just more and i’d take fit adebayor (like the first half of the season!) and fit van persie (sheer brilliance!!!) over carlos tevez and wayne rooney any day! not to mention the substitutes.

  23. Kevin Milenkovich says:

    What an embarrassing and naive piece of literature. As someone else here cmmented, it’s all based on a fantasy. There’s no reality here. Getting strikers like Huntelaar and the Stuttgart star on-loan-try before you buy – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    I am all for the Gunners buying one of those guys, or better still, David Villa from Valencia.

  24. bob says:

    according to wikipedia mario gomez has signed for arsenal?

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