Should Arsenal Rescue This Manchester City’s Striking Prisoner?

Can Stevan Jovetic still improve Arsenal?

Well, after a crushing 6-0 defeat at the hands of their fierce rivals Chelsea, the Gunners have added to their abysmal record of heavy defeats against title rivals this season. There is always room for improvement and Arsenal would do with any extra quality that adds on to the squad depth.

Stevan Jovetic was one major target for Arsenal last summer but the Montenegran striker was bought by fellow rivals Manchester City. Unfortunately for Jovetic, a string of injuries and illnesses meant that he had a really tough time settling down. He hardly played in his first season and it was felt that Man City would have greatly benefitted with his presence in certain games. But with Manchester City having prolific hitmen in Negredo and Dzeko with a creative centre forward in Aguero, it can be hard for Jovetic to displace these already established players from the starting line-up.

 Jovetic
Jovetic

This can be a good opportunity for Arsenal, who can swoop up the talented striker next season if they have the luxury of about 25-30 million to spend on a striker. Jovetic would have fetched more money in the transfer market had he not been injured and unfit for the first season. A talented dribbler and a clinical shooter, Jovetic is among those types of strikers that are really hard to find. A striker like Jovetic would add a lot of depth to an Arsenal side that cries out for more quality and variation while going forward. After Robin van Persie’s departure in 2012, Arsenal have heavily relied on Olivier Giroud to provide prolific numbers, but the Frenchmen has not been the consistent 20-goals-a-season striker that Arsenal had hoped for. In a bid to adapt to Arsenal’s style of play Giroud has tried his level best to change his style of a poacher and has given some brilliant performances this season by improving his link-up play. But the Frenchman looks his lethal best especially when he enters the game as a substitute. A hitman/poacher by nature, Giroud lacks the extra yard of pace that most strikers possess, but he has the strength to hold on to the ball and allow others some space.

The problem with Arsenal here is the lack of depth. Stevan Jovetic has all the features that one may ask in a striker. He won’t hold the ball trying to bring others into play, something which Arsenal don’t actually need. Jovetic is well capable of beating defenders and launching a powerful shot into the net, a striker that can improve any squad with such attributes. With Jovetic and Giroud in the team, Wenger would get that depth going forward, with the Montenegran international playing for the first 70 minutes while his French counterpart can chip in with his usually good super-sub performances.

It is not always about having a prolific striker in the team, it is all about depth and quality overall. Arsenal showed how brilliant Giroud and Ramsey are when played together as the Welsh midfielder was one of the few Arsenal midfielders who had that ambition and an eye for a goal. All of Arsenal midfielders are classic providers, the play makers. With Arteta, Cazorla, Ozil, Rosicky and Wilshere among others being those who like to pass to strikers, Ramsey’s presence was very important to Giroud, who could pass to another player who was most likely to finish. Walcott was one player who would regularly make those pacy runs into space giving Giroud an opportunity to pass to him, but the absence of the England international and Ramsey meant that the goals dried up. With Jovetic in this squad, he would be a goal threat whenever the ball is at his feet. But again, you also need someone decent to replace him if he is injured.

Arsenal need to build their squad in such a way that there is more than one finisher on the pitch. Currently Giroud’s lack of pace is always against him when he tries beating defenders. Arsenal in this season are relying heavily on goals from midfield whereas Arsenal midfielders are not accustomed to scoring goals. Hence, we have seen the 1-0 shut downs by Arsenal against quite a few teams this season which has given them praise from many analysts for their willingness to hold on to a 1-0 lead.

According to me, a player of the quality of Jovetic will definitely improve Arsenal, but they do need to build on squad depth in midfield as well as another first team quality striker to add depth along with Giroud and Jovetic. We all know Jovetic has been injured for longer than what was thought, and Arsenal’s interest in flair players also means taking injuries with a pinch of salt, and if Jovetic gets injured like the way Ramsey, Walcott, Chamberlain or Ozil were among many others, Arsenal will have yet another tough season if they don’t build on depth.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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