Arsenal will be boosted by the news that top target Raheem Sterling is eager to return to London.
According to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, Sterling is hoping to move back to London—where he grew up—with the Emirates thought to be his preferred destination.
Sterling still has two years remaining on his current deal with Liverpool, but speculation over the youngster’s future has been mounting as Sterling’s agent publicly claimed that he was adamant the 20-year-old would not renew his deal.
Per the London Evening Standard’s Benedict Moore-Bridger, Aidy Ward said: “He is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700, £800, £900 thousand a week. He is not signing.”
Sterling is a fine talent but is not quite the player Arsenal need to be able to compete for the title next season.
The attacker has managed a respectable eight goals and eight assists in all competitions this season, and as WhoScored.com point out, is a very strong dribbler.
However, Arsenal need a prolific goalscorer to take the burden off Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud and add serious depth up front.
Sterling is not a natural striker nor a particularly clinical finisher. Admittedly, he has been played all over the pitch this season, which could have contributed to his failure to score a significant number of goals (per WhoScored):
The 20-year-old is undoubtedly an excellent creative talent and would provide a quality option for Arsene Wenger, but in a team that already boasts Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, he isn’t quite what the Gunners need right now.
One player Arsenal could certainly do with is Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.
According to the Daily Star’s Alex Harris, Arsenal are scouting Lacazette as well as his team-mate Nabil Fekir.
Lacazette will cost Arsenal a reported £35 million, but the Frenchman would likely prove worth the investment.
Lacazette has scored 31 goals in all competitions this season and created a further six, so he would fit the bill for Arsenal as they seek to bolster their goalscoring options.
As WhoScored and Opta Jean note, the 23-year-old is in good company when it comes to his prolific exploits:
One area of concern could be the striker’s inability to hit the net in big games:
The Gunners’ Achilles’ heel in recent seasons has been their failure to secure points against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, and is something that they must continue to work on if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.
Even so, Lacazette is a young but proven prolific talent and would represent an excellent long-term investment for Arsenal.
If they can acquire the Frenchman’s signature, their forward line will be complete and a title challenge would appear a far more realistic possibility if they can also improve defensively.
Lacazette is a must.