After topping the table of Premier League spenders in the last transfer window with a £148m outlay on six new legs, Arsenal are plotting a Premier League raid to replace French striker Alexandre Lacazette who’s not regarded as an asset by Mikel Arteta going forward.
It may look unfair to Lacazette but Arsenal have begun preparations for life without the Frenchman who signed for the Gunners in 2017 from French giants, Lyon.
The North London side are strongly plotting a potential swoop for Premier League striking duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins. The former is plying his trade for Toffees while the latter is a Claret attacker.
If possible, Arsenal could even look for a potential suitor for the 30-year-old as soon as possible when the winter transfer window opens instead of enduring his sulking spree till he departs for free next summer after five years since his arrival in a £52million deal from Lyon.
Due to lack of playing time under the tutelage of the Spaniard, the plan has been set in motion for his exit. The reports are that coach Mikel Arteta has already set his sights and plans are in place on replacing Alexandre Lacazette with an established Premier League goalscorer, with either Calvert-Lewin or Ollie Watkins.
Having spent loads of money in the last transfer window by swooping six players for about £150m, striking a deal for either of the two English men would require another significant investment from the Emirates hierarchy.
However, Arsenal owner, Stan Kroenke is ready to support Mikel Arteta with funds again as he searches for an attacker capable of filling up Lacazette’s space in the team and by extension providing more firepower alongside captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
It’s now a question of if the selling clubs would yield to Arsenal’s requisitions for their priced assets. both Everton and Aston Villa would likely resist any move for their respective strikers in the winter.
However, if the price is right, they might consider it. Watkins, like Calvert-Lewin, is tied down until 2025 at Everton. Therefore, any amount below £50m may not be enough to get the star man away from Goodison Park.
The Everton man has evolved and developed into a key performer for the Toffees, same as Ollie Watkins who’s been on top of his game since he joined The Villa from Brentford.
Villa have indicated in the last transfer window that they can lower their guard. With the £100m exit of Jack Grealish to Manchester city, if the price is right and certain conditions are fulfilled, they would do business but it’d be a figure higher than the £28m they shelled out to acquire Ollie Watkins from Brentford last summer.
Numbers they say don’t lie when it comes to strikers. The pair Watkins and Calvert-Lewin aged 25 and 24 respectively finished above Arsenal’s top scorer last season.
Surprisingly, it’s Lacazette’s last season’s scoring rank in the Premier League, Calvert-Lewin scored (16) goals, Watkins scored (14) goals. They both bettered the Frenchman’s tally of 13 league goals for the Gunners.
From a glance, they look like a perfect fit in Arteta’s philosophy. Both are very young for the future and are also being regarded as a long-term replacement for Aubameyang who’s already 32.
With Arsenal’s inconsistency in this campaign as a result of their goal drought in the final third, there is a feeling at the Emirates that the attacking department needs to be rejigged and new legs need to be acquired after a wholesome summer of investment in other departments.
Academy graduates like Folarin Balogun and Eddie Nketiah are far below the level of what’s required to be Arsenal mainstay, chances were offered to them but they looked ill-equipped for the job.
Eddie is set to be out of contract with Arsenal next summer and he’d likely push for an exit in the New Year.