Sunday, February 25, 2024

Arsenal possess promising young strikers but a signing in that department is still a requirement

Last season, Arsenal just about managed to secure automatic Champions League qualification by relying heavily on the goals of free-scoring Robin van Persie, not to mention Thierry Henry’s goalscoring return to the club, with the Frenchman’s last-gasp winner away to Sunderland providing one of the key victories of the season.

This time around, with van Persie having departed and Henry highly unlikely to return to North London for a third spell, Arsene Wenger has opted to utilise several different options in the central striker role, with Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Gervinho and, most recently, Theo Walcott, all provided with opportunities to shine up front.

Podolski has not been particularly effective on the few occasions he has been utilised in that position, with most of the Germany international’s best work coming from the left flank, whilst Gervinho, despite finding the net on several occasions earlier in the season, remains hugely frustrating, and, in any case, is currently heading to represent Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations. Marouane Chamakh, another central option, has been largely isolated this season and is reportedly poised to join West Ham on loan.

All of the above highlights the need for the club to purchase at least one, possibly two, centre-forwards in this transfer window, but it also provides the opportunity to assess whether any of the club’s young strikers could soon have an impact on the first-team picture, if not in the remainder of this season, then certainly next campaign.

The stand-out name amongst that crop is undoubtedly Chuba Akpom, with the England youth international, who can also operate adequately on either flank, having enjoyed a meteoric rise so far this campaign. Still technically a first-year scholar, Akpom impressed when provided with an opportunity for the U21s in the pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood, and has gone from strength to strength since, featuring heavily in both the U21 league and the NextGen Series and earning high praise from Arsene Wenger, with the Frenchman suggesting that the 17 year old could be incorporated into the first-team set-up as early as next season.

Akpom, who earned his first senior call-up for the Champions League fixture away to Olympiacos, possesses a unique skill-set and impressive physicality for a player this age, even if his shots-to-goal ratio does need some improvement.

Another promising striker is Zak Ansah, who also made the squad for Olympiacos. Also very adept technically, Ansah has only recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but, when fit, possesses a certain calmness in front of goal, with a loan spell likely to be in the offing in the near future.

Benik Afobe, despite currently struggling for game time on loan at Bolton Wanderers, remains on the books, but the feeling persists that the summer of 2013 could be a pivotal one as far as the youngster’s Arsenal future is concerned. Despite being lauded for several years as a promising talent, Afobe is, owing largely to loan spells and injuries, yet to make his competitive debut for the Arsenal first-team, with a decision on his future likely to rest largely on his performances with Bolton in the second half of the campaign.

Beyond that trio, Nigel Neita, another forward, recently scored his first goal for nearly two years, which suggests he is not of the goalscoring calibre to make a long-term breakthrough, whilst Austin Lipman has worked hard up front for the U18s and signed his first professional contract earlier this season. Philip Roberts, who was signed in 2010 from Norwich City, has caught the eye on loan at Inverness this season, but, like with Neita, it is difficult to envisage a long-term breakthrough for him at Emirates Stadium.

In all, Arsenal certainly have some promising strikers on their books- with Afobe, Akpom and Ansah chief amongst them, but, as things stand, none of that trio appears ready to make an immediate impact in senior football, which backs up the claim that the central striking position, particularly if no resolution can be found with regards to Walcott’s contact, is one which the club should look to strengthen immediately.

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Noooooooooo 1 will be signed

Norn Iron Gooner

Liar, Walcott. LANS. Done.


surprised Joel Campbell isn’t mentioned. He hasn’t been great in his loan stints yet, but looks talented.

Norn Iron Gooner

How does “not been great” translate to “talented” mate? You drinking what Grimandi’s been drinking?


Henry didn’t look great in his first few matches, but was clearly talented. Ditto Vieira. Ditto Bergkamp. How did they end up?


For strikers it’s easy to just write them off as No goals = Shit.

But there are other indicators of talent as others well know.


And Einstein might have got bad marks at school, but that doesn’t mean everyone who got bad marks at school is a genius.


And Wellington at Ponferadda. Any progress?


Why worry? We have Bendtner back next year!

i want to boff giroud and im not even gay

Bring back ray hankin I say!!!

pauly bear

Wouldn’t bring back bentner he is a stricker wit a lack of confidence. Oh wait I mean lack of skill bags of confidence


I think I am officially a crazy person — Arsenal does the same thing every transfer window and I, for whatever reason, expect a different result.

It is definitely easier to deal with Arsenal without any expectations.


Said it before. Eisfeld is only one of youngster in with a chance. The rest will not make it. Afobe, dont make me laugh.

Master Bates

what about that Gnabry kid ,or the Barcelona youngsters .

Don’t be pessimistic , look at how many players from this pic who’ve made it

2 are in the starting line up ,1 an important fringe player, 1 took the train to Barca and 1 TGSTEL . From what I hear the current youngster are even better

Rohan Sood

Gnabry aint’ no center forward mate.


Neither is Eisfeld he I think Akpom has a genuine chance of making it at arsenal, he kinda reminds me of Welbeck with his languid style, quick feet and good link up play.


That pic may be from a Carling cup squad. Remember we had Fabregas then That makes a team much better.


Jay Simpson, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Antony Stokes, all promising, where are they now?

Master Bates

yeah! where is Wilshere


Some make it some don’t. The ones that do you keep and god forbid don’t sell and the others that don’t you sell or let go. To me that sounds better than having to constantly sign talent on the market.

Tottenhams reckoning

Any news on Joel Campbell? Anyone think he could make it?


With wigan he could well make it. Another wenger misque? I hope not….

Santi's Sack

He scored a cracking goal for Betis recently. He seems to have a high level of confidence and scores outlandish goals. Hopefully we’ll see him next season, but who knows?
We need to start sending our youngsters to teams that will actually play them instead of seeing the likes of Miyaichi wasting on the bench (if he’s lucky) at Wigan. I thought Bolton was a better bet for him this season. Coyle seemed to like him but Coyle’s gone now so I’m none the wiser.

Santi's Sack

He does, however need to start scoring a bit more if he’s going to make it. 4 goals in 35 matches ain’t gonna cut it.

wengers furrowed brow

What we really need to buy is Suaréz from Liverpool. He may be many things but he is definitely one brilliant fucking forward. He is complete mental in and around the box. He is the natural successor to the vacant throne of King Henry.

Piers Morgan's punchable face

I’d rather slurp bear jizzum out of a tramps rancid arsehole than have Suarez anywhere near our club mate.


Finally someone who speaks his mind. Peoole are afraid of doing so at arseblog. I respect your thoughts but suarez remains a racist cunt yet a top top striker nonetheless.


I agree. I think we should bid for ballotelli as well. The thing is, I don’t have any faith in footballers, or athletes in general, as humans after the Rvp- Nasri sagas. To me, the only thing that matters at this point is how much arse they kick when they step on the pitch. I don’t care if they’re beaver toothed racists or psychotic spoiled brats. Just put the ball in the fucking net please.


Suarez is not a great finisher.



jack jack jack

Great player, don’t want him anywhere near my club. Horrible, racist cunts will simply not do.

A N Other

We sold vela and RVP and sent out brentdner and park on loan an only bought giroud and podolski.. We need at least 2 strikers not one.


How is that even logical. We never played Vela (he was more played as a winger anyway), we never played Park and we rarely played Bendtner. We played RvP almost every game.

That’s 2 out of 4 ‘strikers’ that we never played.

Besides, Podolski is used predominantly on the left not as a centre-forward.


We have three players for one center forward position — Giroud, Walcott, Podolski. Gervihno is not a terrible fourth choice for 1 spot in the team. Even though we loaned Chamakh to west ham, we are still fine at “striker.” What we need are wingers. We have Walcott (who doesn’t want to play there, and will be out of contract this summer), Arshavin (same), Alex OC (wants to play in the middle), Gervihno and Podolski (who has matured from winger to CF, though he at least doesn’t seem to mind playing on the wing). I count three wingers who we… Read more »


i agree with the above except for the statement “Gervihno is not a terrible fourth choice for 1 spot in the team.” No sentence should ever start ‘gervinho is not a terrible…’ unless it is followed by the words ‘choice, if you need someone to kick a football aimlessly off the park before spontaneously combusting in a tangle of their own flailing limbs.’ We also need a more creative, well rounded striker because whilst walcott and giroud both have appreciable strengths, neither have proved themselves capable of improvising successfully if their preferred approach doesn’t yield results. See the Soton game… Read more »


Yes, it strikes me that we are in more urgent need of wingers than central strikers, especially with the system we now play. we don’t really have ANY natural wingers at the club whereas united seem to collect wingers for fun.


I’d be a little more receptive to his article if all of these guys names didn’t sound like random scrabble draws. Do we have anyone in the youth setup with a name along the lines of ” John smith”? Seriously, what’s a chuba akpom?

yum yum spuds

That’s a bit racist…


It is? How so? I didn’t know having a stupid name was a race of people.

Jim Jimminy

Sorry, what is it exactly that makes them stupid names?

jack jack jack

I’d rather be called Chuba Akpom than ‘Frog’.


Haha you guys are lame.

johnny foreigner

ah yes, because having a name like John smith makes you a better football player, I can completely see the logic in that.

name required

I respect your opnions here, but sir, am nigerian and names like that are common here, that’s an insult to his roots, tho might not have racist intend but it is derogatory.


If Theo signs he will be like a new signing.


I honestly think Theo is now the best finisher at the club. Unfortunately he doesn’t possess the physical presence of Henry or RVP and I can’t remember him scoring with his head… Ever. Then again Thierry rarely scored headers either. Not sure what my point is…

Wenger's ass hair

To the guys saying to sign Suarez and Balotelli, and the guy who said “LOOOOLLLOLOLOLOLOL”, please kindly fuck off into space and never come back to hallowed Arsenal ground.


It’s a shame how overlooked some of our young talent is from so-called Arsenal fans.

The youth system is a massive part of the ethos of the club and Wenger.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

The young talent we have produced over the years is amazing and long may it continue.


With the emergence and dominance of the petrodollar clubs over the years and no sign that the upcoming FFP will actually do anything, the production of a few excellent youngsters into the first team squad will NEVER win us anything…unless we add pure, proven quality to them, as well as STOP letting our best players leave.

I have hair

Thank God you used capital letters, otherwise you’re post would have made NO sense.

We do need a striker.


Oh the joys of being a supporter of a self sustainable, financially frugal, economically erect, resource responsible club… my Arsenal.

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