It is at this time of year that the majority of Arsenal fans want the club to spend the whole £100/£120/£140 – enter amount you want, on 2 or 3 ‘World Class’ superstars. The ‘Finished Articles,’ the ‘Real Deals,’ or the guaranteed ’30 Goal a Season Man.’ I have written about the mythological 30 goal striker often enough but they are a rare breed as we know but my question is to everyone is do you know who next season’s ‘ real deal’ or finished article’ is? I work in financial services and if any of you invest money you may well have seen or read this or similar “Past performance does not guarantee future results.” Truth is that not only do we not know who will shine in 2014/15 based on who shone in 2013/14 but equally we do not know if those who shone in 2013/14 will shine in 2014/15.
Many of you and you will know who you are were all over Wenger splashing £25 million on Benteke last summer off the back of one great season at Villa and the same could be perhaps said of Michu. I have also had many debates on social media about the whys and wherefores of Arsenal spending £30/40 million of one of the ‘so called ‘ world’s top strikers to replace of supplement Giroud. As it happens it is some of those ‘so called ‘super strikers, guaranteed 30 goals a season men that I can use to illustrate my point.
In the summer of 2009 on the back of a season where he scored16 in 37 for River Plate and none in 6 for Colombia few took any notice when Porto splashed £5 million on Radamel Falcao. In his first season he hit 29 in 36 for Porto and the following season 33 in 36. He then moved to Atletico for £22 million.
In the summer of 2012 on the back of 2 good seasons in Mexico were we all screaming for Wenger to spend the exorbitant £7.75 Million Porto outlaid for Colombian striker Jackson Martinez? No surprisingly we weren’t. 12 months later after he had hit 31 goals in 40 appearances we all knew his buyout clause. Would we like him at Arsenal? BET YOUR ARSE!
In the summer of 2011 were we all screaming collectively at the board to nip in ahead of Rayo Vallcano to secure the loan services of Diego Costa from Athletico Madrid? No I guess we weren’t but I am certain by the end of that season of 2011/12 when Costa having recovered from a cruciate ligament injury finished the season with 10 in 15 the world was clamouring to sign him? No I guess we weren’t. NOW WE ARE!
Closer to home when Brendan Rogers decided to offer Daniel Sturridge a chance to relieve himself of the splinters in his arse from sitting on the Stamford Bridge bench were we Gunners up in arms? No why would we want a Chelsea reject (although many wanted Ba) for a measly £15 million. Top strikers surely have to be more expensive don’t they? Well 35 goals in his first 50 Liverpool appearances is Rush, Fowler Owen territory – FACT.
Finally let’s bring this right up date and consider the striker making all the headlines and apparently about to be subject to a tug of war between Dortmund and Barca if the press are to be believed. The question is though why was Ciro Immobile, the 22 goal Serie A top scorer not subject to a tug of war or a mad scramble only 12 months ago when Torino picked him up for 12 Italian Sausages and a crate of Chianti from Genoa? – Or £2.4 million if you prefer. ON THIS ONE, WHY ARE WE NOT INTERESTED? I have laboured my point but I am sure you will agree that I am only dealing in facts here and not supposition. I am not saying we should not outlay copious amounts of our swelling bank balance on a new and shiny striker but I am saying we need to select the one that fits with our team and our style not with our wealth.
I suggested Bony last summer and Swansea took a chance and it kept them in the Premier League. Had we purchased him I suspect many would have been underwhelmed by his lack of shininess and star quality. When you think on this perhaps ask if Torino fans said Ciro Who? When they saw Immobile had scored 5 in over 20 starts for Genoa in 2012/13.
It works both ways and as I said at the outset ‘Past performance does not guarantee future performance.’ Throughout 2012/13 I was continually told the must buy player for Arsenal was Younnis Belhanda from Montpelier. A season on a glance at his first year at Dynamo Kiev reveals that in 31 appearances he has contributed 7 goals and 4 assists. Indeed in the last 6 league games he was substituted in 4 and did not feature in 2 before the league suspended due to the political situation.
As I wander aimlessly about I am sure you get my point. This year’s star may be next year’s ‘one season wonder’ For those whom cursed that our scouting network failing to uncover Papiss Cisse after he scored 13 in 13 for Newcastle from January to May in 2012 you are probably now relieved and trying to forget you thought it. Anyway just a discussion starter inspired those who keep telling me Arsenal deserve ‘Proven World Class’ and the continual search for those that are just about to become so!
From what I hear Morata might fit that bill? Watch this space! Like what you read?
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