If there’s one position that’s been a problem for Arsenal since the beginning of this season, it’s the lack of a productive and consistent striker. According to sourced in French newspapers, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Schalke, who has been followed by the Gunners for quite some time, might be getting much closer to a move that will bring him to London in January.
Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Gervinho. Those three haven’t been able to fill the shoes of Robin van Persie, who continues to do what has been so successful for him over the last couple of years, only in Manchester United uniform. The £24 million from his signings has been used to show for some impressive profit numbers, but not for improving the team, or at least not getting the kind of signings that have proven to be the right kind of upgrade. Arsenal have scored 26 goals in 16 matches, which isn’t such a bad average, but they’ve also been held scoreless twice in the last five matches.
Schalke played Arsenal twice this season in their Champions League group; Huntelaar scored twice in those matches, so far scoring 10 goals in 20 matches this season so far, five of them in the Bundesliga. The 29 year old Dutch striker has been quite prolific for Schalke since arriving in the Bundesliga for €12 million in 2010, scoring 71 goals in 102 matches. He also has 34 goals in 59 matches for the national team.
While Huntelaar certainly has better scoring numbers than anyone else Arsenal have at the moment, their problems with playing a faster style instead of the predictable passing game they have at the moment might not mean that Huntelaar, or anyone else in his level, can immediately provide a solution to the disappointing scoring output. He won’t be able to play in the Champions League knockout stage as well, if he does arrive in January.
The chance of getting Huntelaar for a bargain, because his contract is expiring in seven months, defeats the doubts regarding his age and the fact that he won’t be available for all their matches this season, although the chances of advancing more than one stage in the Champions League isn’t that great for Wenger’s side. He’ll probably come at a price of €5 million, while the only thing left to settle is the length and worth of the contract, while both Liverpool and Inter Milan are also looking into the option of signing him.