With the sale of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal appeared to be in the doldrums. The squad lacked inspiration and magic – as apparent in the 8-2 drubbing at the hands of United, and a subsequent run of bad results gave impetus to the motion. However, by the time the season reached it’s climax, ‘Le Professeur’ had found his new talisman - the Dutch No 10, Robin Van Persie.
But with the Dutch Striker’s contract coming to an next season, many clubs have already started rallying around for his much coveted signature. As of now, it seems highly unlikely that the Arsenal skipper will leave his club, but here, I assume the worst case scenario.
Who would replace the Arsenal Skipper? Here are 5 candidates
Current Club – Montpelier
The toast of France at the moment, Olivier Giroud has become a household name in French Football. Central to everything that Montpelier conjured this season, the hitman is now wanted by many clubs across Europe. A lethal finisher, Giroud has all that it takes to be a top quality striker – a deadly right foot, capable enough to strike the football sweetly and crisply, and a decent jump for a person of his stature. Besides, the French striker is arguably yet to hit his prime, being just 25 years of age.
All in all, the man from Montpelier would be a good replacement for the Oranje’s No 10.
Current Club – Napoli
Il Calcio, down the years, has been blessed with great iconic strikers – Gabriel Batistuta and Marco Van Basten. And it would not be long before we see Cavani’s name being placed beside the elite. His physical attributes, his breath taking volleys and his heading are of the highest quality.
‘Those wild locks of Cavani when in motion, set fear deep down into the heart of every defender who comes up against him’
Arguably the most complete forward in the Serie A, Cavani has cemented his name in the Napoli folklore after some scintillating displays of attacking firepower against quality oppositions. If you are looking for a supreme scoring machine, look no further. This Uruguay international has goals galore in him and finds the back of the net at a very regular rate with ease most of the times.
Current Club – Real Madrid
Arguably one of the most complete forwards in World Football, ‘El Pipita’ has found it tough to make the cut into Mourinho’s favoured striker role, as the Portugese prefers the dynamism of ‘Benz’ rather than the goalscoring acumen of Higuain, and if Van Persie indeed leaves the Gunners, there arguably would not be a better option than the Argentinian hitman to replace him.
Undoubtedly, Higuain relishes unlocking opposition defenses with his clever movement and hustle in the penalty box. With a penchant for accuracy and a thirst for goals, El Pipita would effortlessly blend into the Arsenal setup, thriving on the services of Walcott, Gervinho and Wilshere.
Current Club – Newcastle United
Two footed, a quick turn of pace, strong as a bull, quickfire feet, a footballing brain which is able to make the right choice at the right time, tremendous in the air and a thunderous volley when needed, yet a pass into the net when it’s appropriate; if someone could tell me what this man’s weaknesses are, I’ll look out for them in the next game. And add to that, the relatively cheap price Arsenal would have to pay.
The Senegalese forward underwent a minor blip in the last few game of the seasons, but that was more down to the him being outshone by his fellow countryman, Pappis Cisse. Ba had a glittering season, and the odds would be heavily stacked in favour of him moving to North London IF Van Persie decides to leave.
Current Club – Schalke 04
After spending a couple of seasons in the doldrums, The Hunter has finally hit peak form in his career. Fresh from a scintillating campaign with Schalke and the Dutch national team, Klaas has finally lived up to his billing of being a top class striker. And if Robin Van Persie were to leave Arsenal, there would not be a better replacement for the Dutch, ad probably – the Dutch connection to the Arsenal Number 10 would live to tell yet another tale.
Klaas might not be the all round package unlike other top class strikers, but his predatory instincts in the box are second to probably none, currently. A breath-taking goals to games ratio has seen Huntelaar become a primary target for many teams around the continent. Be it with the head, feet or any other organ, Huntelaar can score them anyway.
Given all the names, I can be rest assured that the Gunner family would not want their beloved captain to leave the Emirates. After Fabregas and Nasri, the pain of seeing his endeared skipper exit would be a bitter pill to swallow for every Gunner and as a neutral, it would be great news if I saw Van Persie sign the contract.
Who would you like to see at Arsenal? Post your views below.