Robert Lewandowski is the latest striker being linked with a move to Arsenal.
And having missed out on a deal for Dusan Vlahovic in January, Arsenal have been tipped to move for the likes of Jonathan David, Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Patrik Schick.
But according to FourFourTwo, the Gunners are one of many clubs weighing up an ambitious move for Lewandowski with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealing the Bayern Munich striker’s future “is absolutely open”.
With a tonne of goals to his name already this season – and a first-half hat-trick against RB Leipzig in the Champions League added, it would be no surprise if Arsenal were interested in signing the Poland international.
However, a closer look at the north London outfit’s new transfer policy that was effectively implemented last summer and it may hint at no deal for Lewandowski – even if he’s one of the most prolific centre-forwards around.
Deals for Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Benjamin White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard, made it clear that the Gunners were targeting players of a similar age (23 or under).
In addition, David Luiz and Willian – both in their 30’s – were allowed to leave for free then in January Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (32) left to join Barcelona, thus ushering in a new era in north London.
And after the 2021 summer window had closed, Arsenal technical director Edu outlined the club’s direction when it comes to future transfers and it seems they will continue to target young prospects rather than the finished product.
“I think we have to see the wider context than just to see the money around it,” he told Sky Sports. “We signed six players who are under 23, which means a lot in terms of our planning.
“Normally, people like to see just one window, so I have to say it is the bigger picture because we started planning this squad a year ago in terms of consolidating the team and to try to get a better foundation.
“If you remember, in that period we renewed Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli a year ago with the intention to get that kind of base in the team. In a one-year period, we signed 10 players and seven of the 10 are under 23.
“We renewed seven players in this period as well, just in the first team. Five of the seven are under 23 as well.
“Why did we do that? Because we have a reason to try again to create a good foundation and then, one day, maybe we are going to sign one or two players only. But after that, it’s impossible to sign one or two players only because we have a lot to do.
“We have to balance the squad better. We have to recruit the players with the right characteristics and the right profile to make the squad better, more solid and much more consistent because last season we suffered with consistency.
“Now, I want to give Mikel Arteta and the board a much better squad.”
At 33-years-old and turning 34 in August, Lewandowski doesn’t quite fall into the age bracket that Arteta and Edu have set out, and he’s also the finished product instead of a youngster with bags of potential.
As a result, any potential deal for the Pole would go against a clear strategy.
Although, there are a couple of conditions that could see Arteta and Edu steer off track as it might prove impossible to turn down the chance to sign a striker of Lewandowski’s calibre.
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The first being that the pair could be looking to add a bit of experience to the first-team squad in an attempt to help Arsenal push on next season and the other in relation to Arteta’s vow to only sign the best players that will improve his team.
“We were very clear,” he revealed when explaining the club’s decision to not do any incoming business in January. “We only want the best players and the best people in this club.
“When we are in a rush and the reasons are not the right one for getting a player into the club, we decided not to do it.”
He may be 10 years past Arsenal’s new transfer strategy which makes any summer deal unlikely, but Lewandowski certainly meets the criteria with regards to experience and being one of the best players in the world.