Whilst it seemed likely that Arsenal’s next move in the market would have been to bring in a new striker, that now looks guaranteed in light of recent events surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The striker was stripped as the club’s captaincy after arriving home late from a trip abroad, breaching Covid-19 protocols.
It’s now expected that both he and Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract expires in the summer, will be playing elsewhere next season, meaning Arsenal could fast-track their plans to bring in a replacement.
Aubameyang is assessing his options ahead of the January transfer window with Arsenal open to offers for their now exiled former captain, football.london understands.
In terms of the most dangerous goalscorers across Europe this season, as it stands, it’s the familiar sight of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski topping the goalscoring charts.
The Polish goal-machine has scored 19 times already in the league and could well be on course to match last season’s astonishing total of 41.
Behind him is Bundesliga rival and Bayer Leverkusen forward Patrik Schick who is enjoying an excellent campaign of his own, scoring his 15th and 16th league goals of the season against Hoffenheim.
These two lead the way across Europe’s top five leagues, however, the highest-scoring none-Bundesliga player is plying his trade in Italy, and he’s a budding star that’s been rumored to be a possible transfer target for Arsenal.
Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic is still just 21, yet he’s already bagged 16 Serie A goals this season. That’s just five fewer than the total he managed last season, suggesting there’s a real possibility he can better that tally this time around.
Vlahovic hasn’t always benefited from the best environment to thrive at Fiorentina. His side have finished 16th, 10th and 13th across the three years he’s been at the club.
Yet his ability to still score so many goals, particularly across this season so far and the last highlight why he’s attracting so much interest across the continent.
Initially looking at his goalscoring, what stands out is the number of goals he scored in comparison to his Expected Goals (xG).
His combined xG for this season and the last equates to 18.5. Therefore his total of 37 goals across that time represents a very impressive overperformance.
Although an overperformance to that extent might not be able to be sustained indefinitely, such a positive difference over a fairly big sample size does paint Vlahovic as a player developing into an elite level finisher.
In terms of his profile, he stands at an imposing 6ft3ins and has a robust frame to compliment his size, making him a real handful and ideal target man. He can’t be pigeonholed as just that, however, because he boasts a rather impressive all-round skillset too.
He’s not a player you’d label as rapid, but the 21-year-old does possess a good turn of pace and will happily linger on the shoulders of defenders, primed to pounce on any threaded balls played in between a defensive line.
Another appealing trait of his is the eagerness he shows when his team is without the ball. He works very hard and will regularly be instructed to drop in, cut out passing lanes and lead pressing triggers for his side.
Whilst he may still be a little raw in parts, he is a young player who is illustrating a capacity to develop into a forward with the complete package.
It’s therefore easy to see why, if given the opportunity to do so, Arsenal would be wise to bring him to the Emirates Stadium as soon as possible. And if transfermarkt’s value of £45million is accurate, it could prove to be a bargain in the long run to be Aubameyang’s replacement.