So the January transfer window finally ended last week with Arsenal landing just a single player and he was a left-back signed from Malaga as a replacement for injured Keiran Gibbs. None of the pundits, not even the best and the most reliable ones got it right with Arsenal’s transfer rumours.
David Villa along with Adrian Lopez and several other players were strongly linked with Arsenal, but Wenger who ended up signing a defender instead admitted that he was close to signing a striker. Who could be that striker ? am sure Wenger is the only person who has the answer for that question.
Even if they haven’t seen him play, Arsenal fans will always have a conclusive opinion on a player they are linked with. That seems to be the case with Adrian Lopez. Whenever there is a debates about the Spaniard, one can always see the lazy comments such as “he can’t finish”, “his conversion rate is quite low” with a backing of a few poxy stats. On the other hand, stats can be deceiving. A player cannot be completely judged based on the stats alone, there are more features of a footballer than the numbers that make him a complete player. (Stats say Walcott is better than Bale, how many agree on that ?)
Did you know up until a few weeks ago, out of the entire players in the Premier League, only Santi Cazorla made more accurate through balls than Aaron Ramsey ? When you are at a club like Atletico Madrid, who have one of the best strikers in the world (Falcao), you are entitled to warm the bench more than the time on the pitch. Especially not as a striker, his preferred position.
It’s hard for Adrian to find a place where he can fit in. And when he does come on, it’s just a 15-20 minute cameo on the right or something petty like that. Adrian screams potential. He is 24-years-old, a very composed finisher and his movement is already world-class. He is extremely calm when under pressure and he thrives of the responsibility of being the lone-striker. He can also hold up the ball surprisingly well for a guy standing at 5 ft. 11.
Arsenal’s problem with their forwards since the Henry’s and the Bergkamp’s [disregarding RvP] is the lack of intelligence they possess, something Adrian is quite the opposite of. If you have seen him play, you can see a resemblance to David Villa in how shrewd they both beat the offside trap.
Obviously every striker has their negatives and Adrian’s is that he can come across a tad greedy. He could have picked up a lot more assists than he did last season if he picked out the pass instead of going for glory. Lopez isn’t the finished article, but that’s something Arsene loves signing. This means Arsene can mould him into the player he wants him to be. He knows the guy has potential to be world-class.
Arsenal have, at the moment, two strikers, Giroud and Walcott, who sure are doing a fine job for the Gunners. But the big question is, do Arsenal have enough fire power at their disposal ?
One of Giroud’s best aspects of his game is his movement and his ariel abilities, but he lacks pace to match his movement which is always required in the English game. Podolski – Giroud – Walcott looks a decent threat to any team but given Arsenal’s injuries woes and the consistency levels of the three, a good replacement in the bench will do a world of good for the Gunners. Last week when Podolski and Cazorla came on as substitutes against Stoke it gave them the additional flare to the attack that was required in the final half of the game, so if Giroud or Walcott can be replaced by a player like Adrian Lopez rather than replacing them with Gervinho and Arshavin, Arsenal can well and trult finish off games in style.
Arsenal have a growing contingent of Spanish players. Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and the newly recruited Nacho Monreal in the first-team with former Barca duo Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral in the U-21 team. Adrian would be a perfect fit as he is not only the one for the future, but one for the present as well.