Erling Haaland is the talk of the Premier League at the minute, with the Norwegian reportedly set to complete a blockbuster summer move to league leaders Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund.
It is a move that will send shockwaves through European football but while many clubs will lament City becoming even stronger, it may have actually kickstarted a striker transfer domino effect as Arsenal ramp up their own search for a new frontman.
According to our colleagues at Mirror Football, United have conceded defeat in the race to sign City-bound Haaland and will turn their attention instead to Alexander Isak, who has long been a target for Arsenal.
Despite the Gunners having been keen pursuers of Isak, Alexandre Lacazette’s recent performances and the Frenchman’s unique role in this team has offered further proof that Mikel Arteta’s striker search may have to look towards something different to the Swede.
Isak has had a difficult season in front of goal and while Edu and Arteta both have credit in the bank with fans after the performance of last summer’s signings, the striker choice will be critical to the next stage of the project. Joao Felix has been mentioned as the type of striker who could replicate what Lacazette offers at the tip of the attack and Jonathan David is another player who draws parallels with Arsenal’s incumbent No.9.
Lacazette has 10 goal involvements from his last 11 Premier League fixtures and has recorded seven assists from that run, with his goal drought ending with a goal from 12 yards in the weekend win over Leicester.
In this time, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka have been the three players positioned behind Lacazette and they have all been on the scoresheet thanks to the link-up play that trident have with the French striker.
His ability to bring other players into the game has made up for the lack of goals he scores, as Arsenal have different sources of firepower from different areas.
Felix, who also isn’t solely known for his goals, would be able to offer a similar skillset as Lacazette but has the potential to reach a far higher ceiling due to the quality movement he possesses. David also falls under this bracket but his goalscoring exploits this season should not be overlooked either having briefly led the Ligue 1 top scorers list.
Isak is a different profile of striker. He is someone who typically wants to move into wide areas with the ball and is primarily renowned for his dribbling ability despite his tall frame. The Swedish international lacks the sort of creativity Lacazette has displayed, having only registered two assists in La Liga this season, a tally that has equalled his highest-ever total for assists in La Liga despite the forward being in his third campaign for Real Sociedad.
The Gunners were heavily linked to the 22-year-old, who is valued at just £36m by Transfermarkt, towards the end of the January transfer window. But a deal never managed to materialise due to reported concerns over his £75m release clause.
And if a similar price to his release clause is also being quoted in the summer, then the Gunners should be concentrating their sights on possible alternatives. If United believe Isak is the striker to spearhead their rebuild, Arsenal could find value elsewhere for a player more suited to the type of striker they would seem to need based on Lacazette’s recent displays.
His impact on a youthful Arsenal side has highlighted why Arteta should pursue a deal for the likes of Felix or David as creative forwards to enhance the Gunners’ attack. United identifying a Haaland contingency plan could open the door for Arsenal to get Arteta’s perfect striker signing as a result.
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