Like Nicklas Bendtner’s crotch to an uptown Copenhagen taxi driver, Arsenal’s problems in attack this season have been clear to see. Arsene Wenger was widely expected to address the situation in the January transfer market, but the Gunners boss once again opted to play it cool, and continue with the hand he'd been dealt.
Olivier Giroud has been forced to soldier on despite obvious signs of fatigue – the Frenchman has started 31 league games, more than any other striker in the Premier League – and anyone who witnessed Yaya Sanogo lumber around Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic probably realises the lanky youngster isn’t quite ready yet. Arsenal need a new striker, and fast. But who? Here are some of the options that could be available to them this summer….
Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)
“I always affectionately say that he plays like an animal,” enthused Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer as part of his hands-off spiel to any club sniffing around Croatian international Mario Mandzukic. "It is simply amazing how much work he does for the team and how much running he does during a game.” The problem is that this will – or should - read less like a warding off signal for Arsenal and more like a flash of lower thigh. Hard-running? Fierce, bordering animalistic commitment? This is exactly the kind of striker Arsenal need.
An absence of hard chasers in forward areas has long been a problem for the Gunners, representing one of many reasons why Arsenal regularly struggle against the top sides. Signing Mandzukic would help resolve this flaw almost immediately, and with 17 goals in 28 Bundesliga games this season, not to mention a goal in a Champions League final last season, he knows where the goal is too. Bayern can deny it all they like but the impending arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund only complicates Mandzukic’s position at the club, which could be to the Gunners’ advantage.